Publishing Duo Help Lead Worcester Magazine

Former publisher becomes parent company COO

File this one under the adage that two heads are better than one. Worcester Magazine has promoted veterans Kathleen Real and Betsy Abeles-Kravitz to the newly created position of co-associate publisher.

The duo will relieve some of the operational responsibilities of publisher Allen Fletcher, who serves as chairman and principal owner of the magazine’s parent company, Worcester Publishing Ltd. Worcester Publishing also owns Worcester Business Journal and similar publications in Connecticut and Maine.

“I have been sort of removed from the day-to-day operations, so it’s good to have them on board attending to many of the details I have not been able to do,” Fletcher says. “Despite my love for the magazine my attention has been elsewhere. I am better as a ceremonial head rather than a real head,” he jokes.

Peter Stanton, who had served as the publisher for eight years before Fletcher assumed his responsibilities last fall, remains chief operating officer of the parent company. He also serves as group publisher for several of the company’s business journals.

“Peter was just spread too thin because all of the publications wanted him,” says Real. “He gave up some of his responsibilities with Worcester Magazine, but we will still go to him for input and ideas because he is a wonderful source.”

Adds Stanton, “I’ll still be here. It’s not like I’ll be seven states away.”

Before her recent promotion, Real had worked at Worcester Magazine for 13 years, including the last nine as a sales manager. Abeles-Kravitz had worked off and on at the magazine throughout its 25-year history for a total of 13 years. The Worcester native left her job last year as the magazine’s Regional Sales and Special Events Manager to work at David Advertising, a local ad-agency.

So why did she return yet again? “I finally had an opportunity to contribute at a level I have trained for my whole life,” says Abeles-Kravitz, who has also worked for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the Hartford Advocate. “I saw it as an optimal time when I can make an impact at a paper where I spent virtually my entire career.”

Against the backdrop of a stagnant national economy and an industry-wide advertising slump, this year has been a turbulent one for Worcester’s media. In April, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the local daily owned the New York Times Co. offered buyouts to many of its employees with 54 accepting. Just one month later, the Worcester Phoenix, sister publication to the Boston Phoenix, closed down shop. And this August Worcester Magazine reported it had laid off six people this year, the most recent in July when it said good bye to the magazine’s editor and a staff writer.

Matt Pulle is a staff writer for the Nashville Scene.

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