On top of emerging from bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest Association has been trying to remake its 89-year-old flagship so that it is more relevant for the digital age. Now, the company has hired ex-Bloomberg exec Matthew Goldenberg to begin charting that new strategy for RD.com.
Goldenberg was previously Bloomberg’s managing editor and operations director, and, before that, was VP, Multimedia for the New York Sun.
As general manager of RD.com, he will oversee day-to-day operations, guide the brand’s digital strategy, and come up with new products such as apps and e-newsletters. Nobody has filled a similar strategic position since 2008, when Jodi Kahn left president of Global Digital Media to go to iVillage in late 2008. She was succeeded by Lara Bashkoff, who exited the publisher in late 2009.
The last major personnel change at the Readers Digest Association took place just last month, when Tom Williams replaced Mary Berner as CEO.
Since emerging from bankruptcy in February 2010, RDA has been busy revamping its digital strategy, and has met with some success: Reader’s Digest is currently the bestselling magazine in Amazon’s Kindle Store, and the company has already released three apps this year.
RDA was a content aggregator long before HuffPo, clipping features from other magazines and newspapers for its print edition, though it has scrambled to translate that strategy to the web. It partnered with health content aggregator OrganizedWisdom in 2011, and bought home-and-DIY-focused vertical ad network Haven Home Media last month.
RDA faces the challenge of appealing to a wide range of ages. It is trying to reach a younger crowd with digital initiatives like those that Goldenberg will oversee, but it must continue to appeal to its base. Yesterday, it announced a partnership with Humana to promote co-branded Medicare products.