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Hearst Corp. is a privately held American media conglomerate.

Hearst owns 15 daily newspapers, led by the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle. It also owns numerous magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Seventeen, and O. Hearst also owns broadcasting and digital properties, including the search marketing firm iCrossing.

Hearst shut down the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s print edition in 2009, turning it into an online-only news organization.

In early 2009, Hearst began rethinking its digital strategy, a process that initially involved plans to charge for online news at some of its papers, though as of May 2012, none of its papers charged for online access. Part of this strategy includes an emphasis on tablet applications; David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, said in March 2011 that these platforms could be 25 to 30 percent of his magazines’ circulation. Hearst reported 1 million digital subscribers in mid-2013. Its largest digital magazine at that point was Cosmopolitan, with 175,000 paid subscribers.

As part of that focus, Hearst developed an e-reader called Skiff, which was scheduled to launch sometime in 2010 but which was sold to News Corp. in 2010. In May 2011, Hearst became one of the first major publishers to reach an agreement with Apple to sell in-app magazine subscriptions.

In 2014, Hearst was building a centralized digital news desk to supply digital content to its 18 glossy magazines.

Hearst has announced content-sharing partnerships with the citizen journalism website Helium, the online content company Demand Media, and the sports blogging network Bleacher Report. Hearst also provides news video to MSN’s local news pages.

Hearst launched an automated topic-page site called LMK.com in 2009. LMK also produces scores of iPhone apps with aggregated content on niche topics.

In December 2009, Hearst became part of a new magazine consortium called Next Issue Media, which aims to sell magazines on tablets. In May 2011, Next Issue Media released magazine subscriptions on Android-powered Samsung Galaxy tablets, including Hearst’s Esquire and Popular Mechanics. By September, Hearst announced it had reached 300,000 monthly digital subscribers across platforms, including Apple’s App Store and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Next Issue launched a flat-rate subscription package across multiple magazines for the iPad the following year.

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: July 3, 2014.
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