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Darline Jean Named About.com CEO

New York Times Co. fills top spot as part of exec shuffle at struggling content site.

The New York Times Company promoted Darline Jean [pictured] to president and CEO of the About Group, which comprises About.com, ConsumerSearch.com and CalorieCount.com.

Martin Nisenholtz, NYT Co.'s senior vice president for digital operations, had taken over as About's CEO in mid-May when Cella Irvine stepped down from the position. Going forward, Jean will report to Nisenholtz. Her appointment is effective September 1.

Jean has been the About Group's CFO and COO of About.com and as CEO she'll be responsible for the strategic direction of the group's three sites. In the spring, About.com initiated a content expansion plan that included the addition of new topic categories, more subject matter expert writers, video content and a Spanish-language channel.

In addition to naming Jean as chief executive, the group is undergoing several other management changes. New York Times Media Group finance vice president Karen Messineo will become About Group's CFO. Tracy Raiser will move from vice president of sales for the western region to senior vice president, sales. And Frank Minishak moves to vice president of national sales for the About Group from his previous position of vice president, advertising sales, eastern region.

The new appointments come on the heels of several quarters of disappointing results for the group. Revenue fell 10 percent in the first quarter to $31 million and dropped 17 percent to about $28 million in the second quarter. The declines, say The New York Times Company, are attributable to lower CPC and display advertising coupled with increasing competition from other content providers as well as Google's algorithm changes.

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