The Digital Ad Angel
The old adage, honesty is the best policy, has been Catherine Merolle's guiding light throughout her career in the magazine industry. Cathy discovered her love for publishing while traveling the halls of her high school.
"After I graduated, I went on to Hunter College and majored in English lit," Merolle recalls. "So, like a thousand other English majors, when I graduated, I went looking for a job that was somehow related to what I'd been studying."
A publishing job eluded Merolle for several months after graduation, until she learned of an editorial opening at Woman's Day magazine. "My title was research correspondent, but what they wanted was someone to answer their mail, essentially," Merolle explains. She spent the next six months playing pen pal to the magazine's faithful fans.
She later learned that Fawcett Publications (Woman's Day's publisher at the time, which later sold the title to CBS) had an opening in its advertising services department, and Merolle jumped at the opportunity. Laying out the issue and trafficking ads gave Merolle her first taste of production. "I found that the editorial part was boring for me, but advertising, on the other hand, was very exciting. It's like going to Vegas," Merolle exclaims. "When I later went to work for Avon, to try my hand at catalogs, I realized that I missed the ad side of production. And it's been my focus ever since."
In 1982 (post-Avon) she became American Baby's production director. After four years, she embarked on a similar journey with Brant Publications, where she held the title of production director for two of the publisher's arts and antiques titles. But it was in May 1987 that Merolle took a job with the New York Times Magazine Group as production director for three of the highest-profile women's publications of the time: Family Circle, McCalls and Child.