Britain's largest magazine publisher IPC Media, now a unit of AOL Time Warner, has finally filled the three month vacuum left by the decampment to Trinity Mirror of former chief executive Sylvia ‘Sly’ Bailey.

Was it news of her replacement that prompted the Bard to pen the immortal lines:

Who is Sylvia? what is she,
That all our swains commend her?

Well, no it wasn’t - but this famed quotation probably echoed around London’s media parish pump following last week’s announcement that a second Sylvia, Auton, is to occupy the IPC hotseat.

The news was revealed in less poetic style by Time Inc chairman/ceo Anne Moore: “IPC has demonstrated it’s a tremendously robust business with a portfolio of strong brands and an outstanding management team,” she declaimed. “We’re delighted Sylvia will be running this vitally important operation.”

Auton, a long-serving staffer, has been with the magazine mammoth since 1977, holding a number of senior positions. Most recently she led IPC’s country and leisure division, responsible for such ritzy titles as Country Life, Horse & Hound and Shooting Times.

Executive vice-president and chief finance officer, Richard Atkinson also contributed to the panegyric : “Sylvia is a dedicated and gifted manager who has always commanded the respect, admiration and loyalty of her staff,” he enthused. “She's a truly consummate publishing professional with the experience, skill and vision to lead IPC smartly forward.”

Auton joined the mutual admiration session, declaring herself “thrilled” at her appointment and “thankful for the support and encouragement Time Inc has consistently given IPC”.

She omitted to mention the “support and encouragement” accorded to the six IPC titles and 233 staffers, all consigned to the scrapheap within four months of the company’s acquisition by the US monolith [WAMN: 07-Dec-01].

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff