Vanessa Raphaely has resigned as content director of Associated Media Publishing (AMP), the company her mother, Jane Raphaely, started 32 years ago.
“Vanessa will step down officially at the end of this month [December] to pursue a new direction in 2015,” said chief executive officer of AMP, Julia Raphaely, told The Media Online. “She has wanted to take time out for quite a while and she now has the opportunity to do so. It is a big loss to us, not only as she has been part and parcel of AMP for the last 22 years but also my long-standing partner in the business. However we completely respect and support her decision.”
Vanessa Raphaely returned to South Africa to edit Associated Magazine’s flagship title, COSMOPOLITAN, after launching her journalism career on London’s Fleet Street. She worked on a number of newspapers and magazines, including COSMO in the United Kingdom, before leaving to launch her brainchild, ZEST, a health and beauty magazine, for Hearst Magazines. She returned to South Africa to “make a contribution, both to the country and to the family business”, according to her profile on the AMP website.
In a message to staff, Vanessa said after many years in the industry, she now feels “the urge to do something different professionally. I’m looking forward to exploring many exciting options and also working with AMP in the future, should the correct opportunity arise. I’m proud of what Julia, Jane and I have achieved as a partnership over the years, and I’m extremely confident in the excellent quality of work AMP has always produced. I know the great professionals in Julia’s team are more than capable of taking the brands from strength to strength”.
Sister Julia says AMP and magazine publishing is in a “very transitional period at present which means we are constantly reviewing the structure of the business, as well as what key roles we need in order to make this transition as fluid as possible”.
She said Vanessa’s resignation was “an opportunity for us to re-look the content support structure for all marketing, editorial and sales teams as we move forward. We essentially have always operated as an‘ideas’ factory and this comes from the type of people we employ and the way that we work very closely together.”
Raphaely said AMP has “incredibly strong, professional editors in place and I am very confident that together with our teams we will continue along the same successful and independent path we have set for ourselves over the last 32 years”.
The company closed one of their titles in 2014, Oprah’s O Magazine. It publishes Cosmopolitan, House and Leisure, Good Housekeeping (including its Afrikaans counterpart, Goeie Huishouding), Marie Claire and Women on Wheels (WOW).
In an earlier press release, Julia said her team wants to “build the organisation from a publisher of upmarket, aspirational local and international brands, to the largest engaged audience in the country”.
She said while social media has been instrumental in growing a loyal following, “AMP also launched a series of events in recent years, embracing all the properties within the AMP stable; from fashion shows to self-defense seminars. In fact, the group hosted 45 events in 2014 alone, reaching more than 10 000 people; proving that through authentic human engagement, a publisher can transcend an industry if it divorces itself from the dogma to which so many media outlets still subscribe”.
She told The Media Online the company had five main brands and their extension to concentrate on so “it not only allows us to really focus our energies, the teams strategies and their respective implementation of those strategies but also gives us the advantage of great agility in a highly competitive market”.
Follow Vanessa Raphaely on Twitter @hurricanevaness
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