Lifestyle Media Partners

About Us

Eric G. Thorkilsen, Founder & Managing Partner


The foundation of Eric’s extensive career is nearly 30 years at Time Warner Inc, where he held senior domestic and international circulation and publishing leadership positions across the company’s leading brands, including TIME, TIME International, People and Sports Illustrated. Most notably, he was the creator and founding Executive of both Martha Stewart Living and This Old House Ventures, which were the first brands in the industry to build successful multi-media platforms. With an industry vision and leadership that led to a major paradigm shift, he created multiple distribution vehicles under individual brand umbrellas to deliver high quality content and products to consumers, and a compelling multi-platform reach to advertisers. At peak levels, Martha Stewart Living and This Old House had combined market valuation in excess of $1B.

Following his tenure at Time Warner, Eric was SVP, Business Development, Scripps Networks, where he profitably developed and directed all multi-media brand development and extensions for HGTV, Food Network, DIY, Fine Living Network, and the newly acquired Great American Country. At Scripps, he created and negotiated an exclusive product licensing program for Food Network with Kohl’s, the country’s fastest growing mid-tier retailer, resulting in over 1000 SKU’s and seven figure royalty streams. He also created a unique strategic partnership with Taunton Press, providing online content for; and initiated magazine publishing for the Food Network, ultimately resulting in the launch of a highly successful joint venture with Hearst in 2008.

Following Scripps, Eric served as President of Consumer Media at MOVE, INC., the leader in online real estate. With responsibility for advertising sales and operations, he led a team of 500+ sales and marketing professionals. With a primary focus to seek new revenue streams through development of a rich media, video-based Home & Garden content channel, he negotiated content deals with leading brand producers, reorganized and trained the sales force to sell a wide range of new online capabilities (e.g. behavioral targeting, online video), supervised product and engineering teams to create the new environment, and built a financial model—identifying 40% incremental revenue opportunity in first 18 months.  Eric is a graduate of Hamilton College and Harvard Business School (PMD).


Varanya Vadakan, Partner

From strategic business development to hands-on execution, Varanya brings a unique blend of online media advertising expertise, product development and operations to Lifestyle Media Partners. With a focus on local and digital media sectors, Varanya has assisted online companies in creating multi-media platform strategies driven by profitable revenue channels, clear branding strategies, and productive sales operations.

Prior to joining Lifestyle Media Partners, Varanya served as General Manager of Welcome Wagon, Inc. a nation-wide local print and online sales and marketing organization. Under her leadership Varanya grew revenue and profitability for a 200-person field sales organization by implementing online social media campaigns, metrics-focused lead generation strategies, client retention programs, and brand marketing initiatives. Varanya successfully completed the divestiture of Welcome Wagon to private investors.

Prior to Welcome Wagon, Varanya served as Senior Director, Strategy and Planning for Move Inc.’s Consumer Media division where she was responsible for the strategic direction of Move’s non-real estate search related businesses. In this capacity, she executed new seo/sem strategies, branding campaigns, and sponsorship revenue opportunities with the implementation of rich and social media online consumer engagement tools.

Earlier in her career, Varanya worked at Citigroup where she served as an Associate supporting debt capital markets, mergers and acquisitions transactions for Fortune 500 companies with a focus on the Entertainment, Media, and Pharmaceutical sectors. Varanya is an MBA graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management, and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles.




Susan Wyland, Partner


Susan is an editorial consultant whose clients have included Hallmark, Meredith Corporation,, The Taunton Press and Scripps Networks, among others. She was editor-in-chief of Weekend magazine, a new publication from Hearst Magazines that focused on celebrating weekend living, from October 2004 to September 2006.

Prior to Weekend, she was editor-in-chief of Lifetime magazine from January-October 2004. At Time Inc. from 1998 to 2000, she was the group development editor of the People division, where she created REAL SIMPLE magazine and became its founding editor. Prior to that, she was vice president and editorial director of The Walt Disney Company’s enterprise from 1996 to 1998, having conceived, launched and managed this online resource for parents. As editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine, Susan won two National Magazine Awards during her tenure from 1992 to 1996.

Susan is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, where she majored in journalism. She and her husband reside in New York City.