Meredith Corporation has announced that Stephen Orr will be the new Editor-in-Chief of the Better Homes and Gardens brand, effective July 6. Orr, 50, is currently Executive Editor of Conde Nast Traveler, and has more than 25 years of experience in content creation and design leadership across many of the media industry’s most recognizable brands.
Orr will succeed Gayle Butler, who will retire at the end of June. Butler has been at Meredith for almost 30 years, and at the helm of Meredith’s flagship Better Homes and Gardens brand since 2006 where, “She has done an outstanding job ensuring that brand is contemporary, modern and relevant to American women from Baby Boomers to Millennials,” said Meredith National Media Group President Tom Harty.
Throughout his career, Orr has been very successful at developing brands across multiple channels. Prior to Conde Nast Traveler, Orr was a VP/Editorial Director for the Martha Stewart Living brand, where he created multi-channel content with a special focus on style, food, and gardening as well as licensed product development.
Orr has also held senior content creation leadership positions at multi-platform brands such as House & Garden, Domino, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Epicurious. Early in his career he held senior design positions at The New York Times Magazine, W, and WWD. Orr is also the author of several books, including most recently The New American Herbal, an A-to-Z survey showing the full spectrum of useful plants with both recipes and projects.
“We are thrilled to have someone with Stephen’s broad background and passion for great content creation join Meredith,” said Harty. “He brings a strong track record in the areas that matter most to the Better Homes and Gardens consumer. He knows how to connect with audiences on multiple platforms, be it print, digital, mobile, video or social, and has a clear affinity for the Better Homes and Gardens brand.”
Orr is relocating with his family to Des Moines, where he will be based. He will report to Meredith National Media Group Executive Vice President Jon Werther, whose responsibilities include the Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living brands, and Meredith Digital.
“Better Homes and Gardens is one the world’s most dynamic brands and I couldn’t be more honored to work with the executive team at Meredith to move its message of inspiration and creativity continually forward, just as Gayle has done so beautifully for almost a decade,” says Orr.
Under Butler’s leadership, the Better Homes and Gardens brand expanded its scope to include lifestyle categories such as beauty, fashion and home technology, along with staples such as food, decorating and gardening. She led an aggressive expansion of the brand across digital, mobile and social media platforms, where it currently ranks among the industry’s largest. Butler also helped guide the expansion of Better Homes and Gardens into the largest and most successful retail brands in the industry, including a line of 3,000 licensed products at Walmart. In addition, Butler introduced an exciting new redesign that was embraced by its 7.6 million readers and 40 million audience. It earned Better Homes and Gardens multiple industry honors and recognitions.
“Gayle possessed the perfect combination of creative flair and real-world sensibility that enabled the Better Homes and Gardens brand to connect with a broad audience of consumers across a constantly expanding array of media channels,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Steve Lacy. “We wish her and her family a happy, healthy and long retirement.”