Next Issue Names a CEO, But is News Corp. Still Invested in a Partnership?

Next Issue Media, also known as “Hulu for magazines” — the sleepy e-reader joint venture from Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc. — named Morgan Guenther CEO in a release this morning.

But was News Corp.’s acquisition of Hearst’s Skiff technology yesterday a vote of no confidence in the partnership?

Paidcontent founder Rafat Ali speculated  that, after yesterday’s news, Next Issue Media will never get off the ground.

Mr. Guenther was the president of TiVO from 2001 to 2003, and he will be based in San Francisco, a coast away from all the companies that are investing in Next Issue.

Until now, former Time Warner executive John Squires was leading the effort as an interim chief. 

Next Issue Media has yet to generate much genuine optimism in the publishing world. The five firms behind the venture haven’t given the start-up exclusive publishing rights, and for good reason. It’s tough to bet against the iPad right now.