Class of 1968
Jacqueline Leo has been associated with some of the country’s most storied magazine titles, from Family Circle to Reader’s Digest, and she was a senior producer and editorial director of ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” but she made the transition to online enterprises in 2010. That’s when she launched The Fiscal Times, a digital news website, and became its editor-in-chief. Leo is also senior advisor for business development at iAmplify.com, an Internet-based content source and syndication network.
She is a former president of the American Society of Magazine Editors and a winner of the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications, an organization she also served as president. For 10 years, Leo was an active member of the board of governors of the New York Academy of Sciences. She was awarded a Townsend Harris Medal by City College in 2002, and in 2009, she was named to Media Industry Newsletter’s Editorial Hall of Fame.
Born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Leo is a graduate of the Baruch School, then the downtown business division of the College. Her first foray into editorial work was with Brides magazine. Subsequently, she was named fashion and beauty editor of Modern Bride. In 1986, Leo launched Child magazine. A year later, it was acquired by The New York Times Magazine Group, which appointed her editor-in-chief of Family Circle, another of its titles. Under Leo’s stewardship, the magazine published “Toxic Nightmare on Main Street,” a 1990 piece on waste-dumping in Jacksonville, Ark., that won the National Magazine Award for Public Interest, becoming the first women’s magazine to achieve that honor. Leo later became editorial director of the Times’s Women’s Magazine Group and launched Fitness and a variety of special interest publications.
From 1995 to 1997, Leo was with “Good Morning America,” then served as vice president and editorial director of Consumer Reports, responsible for all of its media products, covering everything from television to health, and from travel to new media, including the organization’s web site. That led to a move deeper into the digital domain, as vice president of editorial operations, sales and marketing for Meredith Interactive, where Leo was responsible for overseeing the digital development of Better Homes and Garden magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal. In 2001, she was named vice president and U.S. editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest, which with its 38 million subscribers was the largest paid-circulation magazine in the nation. Leo was responsible for converting the magazine from reprints to original content and introducing contemporary graphics, columns and other features. She remained at Reader’s Digest until 2007. Two years later, she published her first book, “Seven: The Number for Happiness, Love and Success.”