Martha Nelson was named Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc. at the end of 2012. In a milestone for the company, she is the first woman to hold the top editorial position and only the seventh Editor-in-Chief in the company’s 90-year history.
Prior to taking on this role, Martha Nelson served as editor for Time Inc.’s Style & Entertainment Group beginning in October, 2008, overseeing six of Time Inc.’s leading magazine brands and their websites, including PEOPLE, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, Essence, People en Español and People StyleWatch. She was previously a group editor for Time Inc., editor of the PEOPLE Group, and the founding editor of InStyle.
Time Inc.’s Style & Entertainment Group reaches more than 66 million consumers, generates 894 million page views and brings in more than $1.8 billion in PIB ad revenue each year.Read More
Nelson was named “Editor of the Year” by Adweek in March, 2006, and Forbes magazine featured her as one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women” in 2004, 2005 & 2006. In 2005, Media Industry News (MIN) recognized her as one of the media industry’s “21 Most Intriguing”. Nelson was honored with the Jenifer Estess Award by Project A.L.S. in October 2007. In September 2009, Nelson was honored at Variety’s Inaugural Power of Women Luncheon.
At PEOPLE’s helm, Nelson is credited with reinvigorating the brand, evolving its design and expanding its portfolio of editorial extensions, including People.com, People StyleWatch, the Hollywood Daily and People Country. Her work has been lauded with several of the industry’s most distinguished accolades. PEOPLE was nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award for “General Excellence” in the over 2 million circulation category. The brand has also been recognized by Advertising Age’s “Magazine of the Year” and “A-List,” Adweek’s “Hot List,” “Brand Leaders,” “Brand Blazers,” and “Hit List” and Capell’s Circulation Report’s “Best Performers In Circulation.”
People.com was named Adweek’s “Magazine Website of the Year;” People StyleWatch earned a spot on Advertising Age’s “A-List;” Entertainment Weekly earned a spot on Adweek’s “Brand Leaders” list and Essence received an Advertising Age “American Magazine Vanguard Award.” People en Español was featured on Adweek’s “10 Under 50 Hot List” for four consecutive years.
During her tenure at PEOPLE, Nelson was honored with the Whitman Walker Clinic “Partner for Life Leadership Award,” an “Inspiration Award” from the Women’s Step Up Network, and a “Matrix Award” from New York Women in Communications. She also accepted, on PEOPLE’s behalf, a 2004 “Luce Award” for reporting at Time Inc.’s annual ceremony for editorial excellence.
In 2003, Nelson accepted The Actors’ Fund “Corporate Citizenship Award,” presented to PEOPLE for its ongoing support and coverage of the entertainment industry and the vital role it plays in that community. The weekly was named “Magazine of the Year” at Time Inc.’s 2003 Luce Awards, and it was honored with a 2003 PPFA Maggie Award, given by the Planned Parenthood Association of America. Nelson was an invited speaker at the White House Conference on Missing and Exploited Children and was honored at the second annual “Hope Awards” by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) for her work to elevate awareness on the issues surrounding missing children.
At InStyle, Nelson’s achievements were substantial. Under her direction, InStyle’s rate base grew from 500,000 in 1994 to 1.5 million as of March 2002, making it one of the most successful launches ever seen in publishing. In January 2000, InStyle launched a collection of four single-topic issues on the magazine’s most popular signature themes: InStyle Weddings, InStyle Makeover, InStyle The Look and InStyle Entertaining. Nelson oversaw the magazine’s international expansion, the production of several successful one-hour network TV specials based on InStyle’s content and the launch of InStyle.com. The magazine received, among many other honors, a special award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1999 “for putting the spotlight on fashion and Hollywood.” In addition, for three years in a row, InStyle was #1 on the Capell’s Circulation Report, and for five years consistently ranked within the top five on Adweek Magazine’s prestigious “Hot List.” It was named one of Advertising Age’s “Best Magazines” in 1997.
Prior to launching InStyle, Nelson had been an assistant managing editor at PEOPLE, responsible for the human-interest segment of the magazine. Previously, she was a consulting editor at PEOPLE’s sister publication in Australia, Who Weekly, which began publication in March 1992. Before coming to Time Inc., she was editor-in-chief of Savvy magazine and of Women’s Sports & Fitness; staff editor at Ms. magazine and managing editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society.
Nelson is the president of the board of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), serves on the Board of Directors for The Actors Fund, and is on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Advisory Board (New York University). She has been honored by many organizations for her philanthropic and professional achievements. The Bottomless Closet, an organization that promotes economic self-sufficiency to New York City women on public assistance and economically disadvantaged women, recognized Nelson in May 2002 for her work on their behalf. She was presented with the Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever award in May 2000 and in November 1999 she was named by Brill’s Content as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People in Media.”
Nelson received her B.A. in art history from Barnard College and resides in New York City.