Hearst Corp. Names Swartz to Succeed Bennack as Chief Executive

Hearst Corp., the closely held magazine publisher and broadcaster, said President Steven Swartz will succeed Frank Bennack as chief executive officer.

The appointment is effective June 1, New York-based Hearst said yesterday in a statement. Bennack, who has spent more than 50 years with the company, will continue as executive vice chairman of the board and lead the executive committee. William R. Hearst III is chairman.

Bennack, 80, remains a trustee of the trust set up under the will of William Randolph Hearst, the founder. He first became CEO of the family run company in 1979, according to the statement. He stepped down in 2002 and returned in 2008 as CEO after his successor, Victor Ganzi, resigned.

Swartz, 51, has been with the company for more than 20 years, according to the statement. He was named president in December after being appointed chief operating officer in March 2011, a title he still holds. Swartz serves on the board and also is a director of two Hearst foundations. He is also a trustee under the founder’s will.

Hearst’s interests include 15 daily and 36 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union. The company publishes Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Elle and O, The Oprah Magazine; and operates 29 TV stations. The company has stakes in cable networks Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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