Big plans ahead

As CultureMap expands, former Oprah & W Magazine leader Alyce Alston named chairman & CEO

As CultureMap expands, former Oprah & W Magazine leader Alyce Alston named chairman & CEO

Alyce Alston
Alyce C. Alston

Alyce C. Alston, whose extensive magazine publishing and digital experience has included the launch of O, The Oprah Magazine, and phenomenal growth at W magazine, has been appointed chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of CultureMap.

Alston's extensive resume and reputation for launching and growing businesses across diverse industries and consumer markets over a 25-year-period has earned her the nickname of "chief innovator."

 Alston's extensive resume and reputation for launching and growing businesses across diverse industries and consumer markets over a 25-year period has earned her the nickname of "chief innovator." 

As publisher of O, Alston oversaw the biggest magazine launch in history in terms of both ad revenue and circulation. She also served as vice president group publisher for Fairchild/Conde Nast Publications’ W magazine, where she conceived of and launched W Jewelry as W's first brand extension.

As CEO of De Beers Diamond Jewellers, she oversaw the launch of stores in the United States, in a joint venture with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. And as president of emerging business for Reader's Digest Association, she was responsible for developing and launching new business ventures across the company while revitalizing traditional products through the introduction of digital content and multimedia. 

Most recently, Alston was president and CEO of Commemorative Brands, Incorporated / American Achievement Corporation, a privately held consumer goods company based in Austin.

As an entrepreneur, her consumer product and brand-building efforts have expanded revenue, profits and market share. She plans to use her vast resources and contacts within the publishing and media industries to position CultureMap on a national level.

CultureMap debuted as "Houston's daily digital magazine" in November 2009 and has since won a large and loyal following for delivering real-time coverage of breaking news, analysis and opinion on the arts, entertainment, food, fashion, events, politics, sports, society, travel and more. CultureMap expanded to Austin last summer with similar results by providing hyper-local coverage as well as national stories of particular interest and there are plans to launch CultureMap Dallas this fall.

“We are thrilled that Alyce has joined CultureMap, where she will be a leader and catalyst for our future success and unparalled growth. We are enthusiastically committed to dramatically 'upping the stakes' with Alyce at the helm," John F. Thrash said in a statement, speaking on behalf of a majority of the financial partners who have invested more than $5 million.

“From the investor perspective, we are fully prepared to support our new Chairman and CEO in her vision to take CultureMap to levels heretofore beyond our own imaginings, including an immediate multiple large-markets launch throughout Texas.”

“I am extremely excited to join CultureMap,” Alston said. “CultureMap’s reputation for a great editorial product, and an outstanding web and mobile publishing platform that is aligned with a sea of change in consumer trends and preferences, provides a foundation for success. I look forward to working with such a talented and dedicated team.”

Alston, 48, holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and a B.A. from Southern Methodist University. She regularly speaks at industry events on changing markets and the impact on company growth.  She also serves as an Advisory Board Member for The Eudora Welty Literary Foundation, the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, Texas Women of Wall Street and The Odyssey Advancement Learning.

ADVERTISEMENT
Buy Tickets