E-Magazine Consortium Picks Former TiVo Head for CEO

It took a full six months but Next Issue Media, the joint venture formed by five top publishers to usher in the future of digital periodicals, has finally picked a CEO. The winning candidate is Guenther Morgan, a former president of TiVo and most recently CEO of AirPlay, a provider of wireless entertainment services.

Morgan's selection means that John Squires, the former Time Inc. executive who had been spearheading the venture on an interim basis, will depart. Squires had made it clear he wanted the job, but the start-up's board -- which represents constituent companies News Corp. (NWS), Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith (MDP) and Time Warner (TWX) -- went ahead with an extensive search. Indeed, the search was a bit too extensive for the patience of at least one candidate, who withdrew from consideration in the face of an endless series of interviews, according to Paid Content.

"We wish John well in his pursuit of new opportunities after helping Morgan through the transition," Next Issue's chairman, Bob Sauerberg, head of consumer marketing for Condé Nast, said in announcing the hire.

Next Issue's mission includes developing applications that translate the experience of reading in print to a new generation of portable devices and creating a digital storefront, a la Apple's iTunes Store, where digital copies and subscriptions can be purchased.

There appears to be considerable overlap between its agenda and that of Skiff, a content platform Hearst has been developing on its own in conjunction with an E Ink reader of the same name. On Monday, Hearst sold the platform part of Skiff to one of its Next Issue partners, News Corp., although the hardware portion of the business was not part of the sale.