The USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) welcomes Jess Cagle, one of the nation’s most respected entertainment journalists, as its newest Senior Fellow. As Editor-in-Chief of People magazine from 2014 until he stepped down in March of this year, he grew its audience to 100 million across print, digital and video, and led People’s successful expansion into television. Under his leadership, the iconic entertainment brand also became a powerful force for social justice, and launched bold editorial initiatives to raise awareness of abuse, addiction, suicide, and gun violence.
“To quote one of his former colleagues, ‘Jess is the most accomplished entertainment journalist of his generation,’” CCLP Director Geoffrey Cowan said. “We are thrilled that we and our students will be able to benefit from his experience and skills as a great reporter and editor.”
A 32 year veteran of Meredith (formerly Time Inc), Cagle began his career as a reporter at People, worked on the launch of Entertainment Weekly, and covered Hollywood for Time magazine. As Editor-in-Chief of EW (2009-2014), Cagle integrated print and digital editorial operations and transformed EW into a multiplatform breaking-news brand. Cagle has appeared frequently on TV—including Today, Good Morning America, and ABC’s Oscar pre-show—and hosts The Jess Cagle Interview, which has aired on People’s digital platforms and SiriusXM Radio. A Texas native and graduate of Baylor University, Cagle lives in Los Angeles.