Peter Kafka

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Wenner Media Digital Boss Michael Bloom Leaves After Six Months

Wenner Media’s chief digital officer is out after six months.

Michael Bloom joined the publisher, which owns Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal, in May. On Friday afternoon, he sent out a memo announcing his departure. Here’s the bulk of the note:

As some of you already know, I’m moving on from Wenner Media. While it’s been a relatively short time, I’ve really enjoyed working with so many talented and creative people across Wenner’s incredible brands.

Over the past six months, a new digital leadership team has been put in place, and a lot of great work has been done to set the foundation of what will be a terrific digital future. I’m proud of what you guys have accomplished and I know that you will go on to do great things in 2012. I’ll certainly be rooting for you from the sidelines.

Unlike many of his competitors, Wenner Media owner Jann Wenner has never rushed to embrace digital publishing. For a long time, he did very little with the Web beyond handing over his flagship RollingStone.com site to RealNetworks.

That deal made him money, but it also allowed upstarts like Pitchfork to grab lots of territory and mindshare over the years. Last year, Wenner got control of the site again and moved to put most of it behind a pay wall.

Around the same time, Wenner declared himself unimpressed with the commercial upside of the iPad for magazine publishers, a position that put him at odds with the conventional wisdom. Since then, many of his peers have become much more sympathetic to his take.

Bloom, who had previously put in time at Sharecare, MTV, and AOL Time Warner, didn’t mention a new job in his note; Wenner Media hasn’t announced a replacement. I’ve asked Bloom and a Wenner rep for comment.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”