Having begun her career in advertising sales with several magazines, including Holiday and Ms., she made publishing history in 1979 when she became the first woman publisher of a weekly consumer magazine: New York.
Black is widely credited for the success of USA Today, where for eight years starting in 1983, she was first president, then publisher, as well as a board member and executive vice president/marketing of Gannett, its parent company. In 1991 she became president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, the industry's largest trade group, where she served for five years before joining Hearst.
She serves as a member of the boards of IBM and the Coca-Cola Company, and held a two-year term (1999-2001) as chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. She is also a board member of the Advertising Council, a trustee of The University of Notre Dame and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Black is deemed an "all-star" on Fortune magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" list. She is one of only three women that have appeared on the list each year since it debuted in 1998. She has also been included on Forbes magazine's list of "The 100 Most Powerful Women" and Crain's list of New York City's "100 Most Influential Women in Business."
Black is a graduate of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and holds nine honorary degrees.
Cathleen Black is president of Hearst Magazines, a division of The Hearst Corporation, a diversified communications company. She is chair of IBM's Directors and Corporate Governance Committee and a member of IBM's Executive Committee. Prior to joining Hearst Magazines, she was president and chief executive officer of the Newspaper Association of America from 1991 to 1996, president, then publisher, of USA TODAY from 1983 to 1991, and also executive vice president/marketing for Gannett Company, Inc. (USA TODAY parent company) from 1985 to 1991. She is a director of The Hearst Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, the Advertising Council, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the University of Notre Dame. Ms. Black became an IBM director in 1995.