AOL Picks European Media Director Downing From Hearst Digital

AOL (NYSE: AOL) is tapping Hearst Digital‘s digital services and development director Julian Downing to be its director of its AOL Media division in Europe – the latest step in staffing up its content arm in the continent.

Downing will report to David Shing, who was upped to head European media and marketing in February.

AOL Media was the Mediaglow content division until new CEO Tim Armstrong’s rejig. Aside from its own-brand AOL content channels, AOL Media’s European activities have broadly been limited to localising niche blogs like Autoblog, Spinner and Asylum.

Downing spent four years at Hearst Digital, the female-focused digital arm of the National Magazines Company that publishes sites for mags like Company and Cosmopolitan plus online-only properties like AllAboutYou and Handbag.

AOL tells paidContent:UK Downing’s role is “totally new” – while AOL Media in the U.S. has several category managers, in Europe it’s a single director.