Wenner Digital Chief Schwartz Returns To Reuters For Biz Dev Role

Steven Schwartz, who became Wenner Media’s first chief digital officer about 2-and-a-half years ago, is leaving the Rolling Stone publisher to head up global business development for Reuters (NYSE: TRI) Media.

In his new role, Schwartz is charged with finding and managing partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions. Schwartz’s goals are to expand Reuters Media’s services for clients and digital consumers.

Specifically, Schwartz will be building on efforts such as last week’s introduction of Reuters’ “Live Stream,” a breaking video news feature intended for its online newspaper and other media clients, as Reuters, the Associated Press, Bloomberg and other news organizations go increasingly head-to-head in the syndication and distribution side of the business.

Also, Reuters itself wants to attract a broader consumer audience to its digital products, so Schwartz will have a wide canvas to prove himself on.

The hiring represents a return to an old employer for Schwartz. Before serving as Wenner Media’s chief digital officer, managing the digital side of print magazines Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal and helping to take back control of those holdings from RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) in 2009.

“We put [Wenner] on the digital map where it had not been,” Schwartz told paidContent in an e-mail. “We achieved impressive revenue and audience growth and delivered a healthy profit for the company out of the gate in the first year. Importantly, the digital media buying community now knows, considers and buys the Wenner properties to meet their campaign objectives — this had not been the case when I began with the company.”

Schwartz held posts at Readers’ Digest and the NewsMarket after leaving Reuters the first time in January 2006.

During his three years at Reuters, Schwartz, who was SVP/GM of The Reuters Group, managed the company’s digital media business.