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Active Interest Media Gets Into Cannabis | People on the Move
Earlier this week, Active Interest Media, publisher of Better Nutrition, Yoga Journal and a slew of recently acquired former F+W titles, among many others, announced the launch of NatuRx, a new print and digital media brand with a self-described mission of "educating health-conscious consumers about cannabis."
Led by managing director Jonathan Dorn, who has held numerous executive and editorial roles at the company since joining as EIC of Backpacker in 2007, and GM of retail Rob Lutz as publisher, the first issue hits newsstands Sept. 26 with an initial run of 200,000-250,000 copies and a quarterly frequency, with a goal to expand it to bimonthly after the first year, according to Dorn.
Dorn said that AIM's national reach and the magazine's focus on wellness will be key differentiators in an increasingly crowded cannabis media space, adding, "I'd also say that we're going to be much more service oriented than most mags ... [focused on] cannabis science, health, legality and products, of course, but we'll also do travel, dining, nutrition, fitness and workplace stories—through the lens of cannabis know-how."
[caption id="attachment_171401" align="alignright" width="150"] Peter Moore[/caption]
Joining the company to head up NatuRx as editor-in-chief will be Peter Moore, who spent 20 years on the editorial team at Men's Health before leaving then-publisher Rodale Inc. in 2015, and was articles editor at Playboy from 1986 to 1995. Bryan Nanista, creative director of Catapult, the company’s content studio, will also serve as NatuRx’s creative director. And Christina Erb—also from Catapult—has been named managing editor.
On the digital side, AIM's VP of digital products and platforms, Katie Herrell, will take on oversight as digital director, while Maureen Farrar, a longtime wellness and fitness magazine editor who manages AIM's CleanEating.com and BetterNutrition.com, will handle the day-to-day as digital editor.
[caption id="attachment_171361" align="alignright" width="150"] Khushbu Shah[/caption]
Here are the rest of this week's people on the move...
Meredith Corp.'s Food & Wine hired Khushbu Shah as its new restaurant editor, effective Sept. 30.
Shah was most recently senior food editor at Thrillist, with additional bylines in GQ, The New York Times and The Washington Post over the past year. Prior to Thrillist, she was deputy food editor at Mic and a staff writer at Eater.
Currently based in Brooklyn, Shah will relocate to Los Angeles in 2020 to work out of a new, third Food & Wine office there, according to a Meredith Corp. announcement (Food & Wine has been located in Birmingham, Ala. since being moved there in 2017 by then-owner Time Inc., but much of its business side is based out of Meredith's corporate headquarters in New York).
“I grew up reading the magazine and can't believe I get to help lead and shape the brand’s restaurant coverage," said Shah in a statement. "The team cares so deeply about what they do, and I’m looking forward to working with people who are as invested in food—and the people who make it—as I am.”
She replaces Jordana Rothman, who had been the magazine's restaurant editor since 2016. A Meredith Corp. spokeswoman confirmed that Rothman has left the company, but didn't get into specifics.
Over at Penske Media Corp., WWD announced a series of editorial hires and promotions:
[caption id="attachment_171365" align="alignright" width="150"] Pete Sheinbaum[/caption]
Elsewhere at Active Interest Media, Pete Sheinbaum was hired as SVP of digital media, responsible for "multiple new marketing, editorial, and membership initiatives" across the company.
A press release highlights Sheinbaum's prior experience in digital media, including as COO and later CEO of the now-defunct DailyCandy.com, which was sold to Comcast in 2008; founder and CEO of audience engagement platform LinkSmart, which was sold to affiliate marketing company VigLink in 2014; and most recently, founder and partner at ad agency Work in Progress.
“As a successful entrepreneur, Pete has a deep understanding of business formation and how to scale businesses, digital strategy, management, operations, and finance,” said AIM president and CEO Andy Clurman in a statement. “He’s a key addition and we’re excited to have Pete’s unique perspective and vision on our leadership team."
[caption id="attachment_171363" align="alignright" width="150"] Larry Mlawski[/caption]
G/O Media—parent company to Deadspin, Gizmodo, The Onion, The Root and Splinter, among others—named Larry Mlawski its new head of programmatic and ad ops, effective immediately. He'll report directly to CEO Jim Spanfeller, who said in a statement that Mlawski's "history of delivering exceptional results and financially sound recommendations" will be valuable as the five-month-old company aims to grow its programmatic advertising revenue.
Mlawski arrives from Readers Digest parent Trusted Media Brands, where he spent the past year as VP of revenue ops. Prior to that, Mlawski was at LinkedIn, where he held various ad ops roles from 2013 to 2018, and he also spent about three and a half years as director of digital media sales, ad ops and vendor relations at Fox News up until 2010.
Rebecca Greenfield, a reporter at Bloomberg since 2015, announced that she's taking on a new role overseeing the brand's diversity coverage. Meanwhile, Janet Paskin, who since 2016 has led Bloomberg's editorial teams covering sports business and workforce and management, announced that she's moving to Hong Kong to join managing editor Michael Patterson's team there.
Talking Biz News reports that the Financial Times hired former longtime Bloomberg journalist Faris Khan as managing editor of P&C Specialist, a subscribers-only publication within the FT's Money-Media division that covers the property and casualty insurance space.
The Correspondent—the new English-language edition of the Dutch news site de Correspondent—hired meteorologist and climate journalist Eric Holthaus as a correspondent. Nieman Lab has more on the backstory there.
Tom Larranaga joined PR News—a sister brand to Folio:—as publisher. Larranaga arrives from ALM Media, where he spent the last four years, most recently as director of strategic partnerships and business development.
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19 Sep 2019 | 2:48 pm EDT
20 Years Later, The FADER Stays True to Its Mission
In terms of digital disruption, magazines were far from the only form of traditional media upended by the rise of the internet over the past two decades. So as a relatively small fish in a rather large and well-funded pond of publications covering the music industry—a space that's undergone its own painful digital transition—success for The FADER has always meant getting creative to defy the odds.
To wit: its debut issue in 1999 featured photocopied ads taken from other magazines to help lend it an air of legitimacy.
Now, as it marks its 20th anniversary, The FADER has evolved into a multi-platform brand attracting 3 million unique visitors every month, an annual music festival, an apparel vendor, a music label and at the center, a print magazine that's on the rebound.
Revenue-wise, 2019 has been The FADER's most successful year in print out of the last four, says president and publisher Andy Cohn, with single-copy sales up double digits over 2018. We sat down with Cohn for a reflection on the brand's first two decades, staying ahead of the curve, and why it has continued to invest in its print product even as many of its peers have faded away.
[caption id="attachment_171319" align="alignright" width="150"] Andy Cohn[/caption]
Folio: What's changed the most about The FADER since you joined the brand in 2003, and what's remained the same?
Andy Cohn: The thing that I’m most proud of about FADER is that we’ve never changed our mission statement. We’ve always been about discovering artists ahead of the curve, all the way up through them hitting the mainstream.
By sticking to that and keeping it the same, it’s informed our ability to change the way that The FADER is put out into the world. When I first got here it was just a print magazine, then we started a website and started making posts, but the way that we expressed FADER never changed.
There were times, like in 2008 when print was decimated and display advertising was not catching up with the losses in print advertising, we saw a lot of our competitors cutting back on print and going to the internet to write about anything and everything. They were becoming more mainstream, covering the biggest artists in the world because they had to for survival. We never went down those roads, we never started doing like the 10 hottest girls or guys in hip hop and R&B, or the coolest cars driven by famous people.
Folio: How did you manage to survive without giving into those temptations?
Cohn: We stuck with strong storytelling, we believed in print as a way to really take our time while we used the internet for speed. We weren’t going to be one of those magazine publishers who was going to go down with the print ship; we were very nimble. Being an independent publisher with no board of directors, we were able to stick to our guns and find other ways to make money. We were doing things like tying events to print or digital before it was in vogue.
We could have joined an ad network, but we didn’t want to be just another site in a network of 100,000 sites and blogs, where it was just to say they had 100 million people coming every month and could sell display advertising for more money.
While those things are attractive when your revenue is shrinking and you’re losing all of your print advertising, we chose to be scrappier and keep the brand strong, but diversify.
Then when it came to video and social media, we were always just platform agnostic. Wherever our readers are, however they want FADER, we’re going to give it to them and not be beholden to one medium.
Folio: In what ways has that freedom to say no to things allowed you to stay true to your mission?
Cohn: We built the business realistically. We wanted to stay profitable at whatever size we were. There were times when we had serious discussions about expanding the aperture of our coverage or starting to do reviews or lists—things that are kind of lower-common-denominator. It just never felt right for the brand. We built it brick by brick, even if it’s not going to grow a certain amount every year. When you’re publicly traded or have venture capitalists or shareholders, that’s what they want.
We took the more difficult path, but it’s also why we are still around 20 years later and have artists clamoring to get coverage in FADER.
Folio: Is it more difficult now to be an outlet for discovery when streaming and social media have opened up so many new ways for artists to engage with fans directly?
Cohn: I think the streaming platforms and algorithms are incredible for music discovery. For me to say it hasn’t changed our approach in business would not be fair, because it absolutely has. The cycle of someone going from being a nobody on the cover of FADER to becoming super famous is now more a matter of days, weeks or months, not years.
When we put Drake on the cover in 2009, it took a couple of years for him to become Drake. Even with Frank Ocean, it was still a year or two later that he really became a household name. Same with Kendrick [Lamar]. Now, the timing is a little bit different, but there’s still a need for human curation and contextualization and storytelling. You can go to the streaming platforms and discover an amazing artist, but the real audience for FADER wants to know more about who that person is.
When you have so much new music being uploaded every single day, people kind of want to be told, by certain people that they trust, what to check out. We’ve had over 300 covers since 1999, and I think our batting average is pretty good. If you look back in time, we look like we were a mainstream magazine, but when OutKast was our cover [in 2000], people at the time were like, “Who are these guys?”
We’ve built up that credibility, so when people hear a new artist out of nowhere, they can go to The FADER and see who this person is all about. And the opposite is true, too. When we put Megan Thee Stallion on our cover, our readers will trust that she must be somebody and they’ll go to her Spotify and listen to her music.
Folio: When your summer music issue came out in June, you sent out a tweet emphasizing your four “non-digital covers covering an actual magazine that gets printed.” What’s your opinion on magazines putting out “digital covers?”
Cohn: It’s one thing that drives me nuts. Like, what is it covering? They’re just feature stories. The difference is that with print, there is permanence. Nothing can be deleted; it’s handled with care and created in a very non-2019 type of way. I have a 12 year-old and a 15 year-old, and they covet tangible things. They walk around with their phones like every other kid, and it’s all disposable and here and gone in minutes.
There is such an inundation of great and innovative stuff, but also trash. I’m not trying to bash people, but so much content is clearly not edited and done for speed over quality. A post about some rapper on a site that has literally 100 posts a day is now at the point where it’s seen as white noise. To stand out online, something has to be so specific and organically viral.
We actually doubled down on analog; we partnered with the record club Vinyl Me Please to produce a vinyl album as a companion to the 20th anniversary issue, and we sold hundreds of pre-orders without even a track listing. They’re two beautiful pieces that can sit on a table or a shelf.
Our print sales were way up last year, and this year they’re going to beat last year. This vinyl bundle has far exceeded what I thought it was going to do, and we aren’t even far into the marketing of it yet. We’re at a time when you’re just getting hit with so much content and endless scroll and feeds, and I think there’s more value in print than ever before.
We’re even seeing advertisers come back. We’re having our best revenue year, in terms of print advertising, over the last four years. And it’s driving revenue in other places. Our shop has been on fire, selling physical merchandise—hoodies, T-shirts, on-demand printing—we sold 500 Young Thug cover posters in the first five hours. So in terms of keeping the brand strong and finding the right extensions—not opening up like, FADER restaurants—having the physical cover is an amazing leverage point for us.
Folio: How does the value of the print magazine extend beyond the page?
Cohn: It’s the anchor. If I do say so myself, it’s not a crappy looking magazine. It’s a beautiful, physical, coffee-table magazine, so when YouTube comes to us to create video content with them, they know that we have that right aesthetic and a high-end artistic value that we believe in and protect.
Folio: How does a 20-year-old music magazine manage to keep its finger on the pulse and stay ahead of the curve?
Cohn: At other music publications, you can end up being the music editor for 20 years. There is no way you can tell me that 10, 15 years into that job, that editor is still as tapped in to what’s next in music and what’s cutting edge as when they were in their 20s. At an emerging magazine, it’s important for there to be some natural turnover of the staff. People like [former editor] Will Welch, who is now the editor-in-chief of GQ, or [former EIC] Alex Wagner who is now a CBS correspondent and co-hosts a series on Showtime, these people are our alumni and they come to our events and celebrate our wins. They almost graduate from FADER at a certain point and move on.
If it was just [co-founders Rob Stone and Jon Cohen] and myself, FADER would have lost its way a long time ago. We would almost be better off having my 12-year-old son running things. FADER has never been about a celebrity editor or one vision; it’s a collective. That’s really been our secret. It’s created by an amazingly diverse group of young, tapped-in people who understand the brand and have great ears and eyes for understanding what’s happening in culture and music.
Folio: You mentioned advertisers coming back to print. As the publisher, what’s your pitch to brands when you don’t necessarily have the scale of some of your competitors?
Cohn: I think it’s to cover their future and to hit a different type of psychographic—someone who is super passionate. When you look at mass media, where you’re getting a $5 to $8 CPM, and you’re hitting a million people a month with display advertising for a big brand like a Budweiser or a Toyota, I get why certain high-level advertising needs to happen.
At the same time, these brands can get an event series, integrated with digital content, social, video, print in a package that’s going to hit our audience for the cost of one second of a 60-second Monday Night Football commercial. A young person who is super-engaged is attracted to FADER because we help create culture, we’re not just covering things that happen, and I think that mindset is very appealing to brands.
Folio: We hear a lot about media brands and publishers evolving into creative agencies for their clients. Has that been your experience?
Cohn: Oh, yes. There are brands that have us on retainer for cultural insight reports, tapping into our creative team or just to look at things they’re doing and tell them whether it’s culturally relevant. We’ve been able to develop those types of services as people who are truly connected and play very a different role than a traditional magazine might play.
[caption id="attachment_171323" align="aligncenter" width="989"] Amy Winehouse at the FADER Fort in 2007.[/caption]
Folio: Looking forward, where do you see your biggest opportunities?
Cohn: We’ve done the FADER Fort in Austin for the past 17 years, but this year we partnered Fort with other festivals for the first time. Governors Ball brought us in to do a Fader Fort artists lounge with Russell Athletic, and we had our editorial staff spread out all over the festival covering it through our channels, so FADER became the content amplifier for the festival.
When Pharrell launched his festival in Virginia Beach, we created a FADER Fort venue there and booked artists and helped to amplify the rest of the festival, which was really successful. Now, in October, the FADER Fort is going to be branded on the center stage for A3C, the hip-hop summit and festival in Atlanta, and we have Crown Royal underwriting that whole partnership. So experiential is a really big area of expansion for us, and now we have other festivals reaching out.
FADER merch and our shop, with very little investment and expertise, has taken off to mind-blowing levels. I think that goes back to the idea of tangible things. People can like these Instagram accounts and follow these websites, but ultimately getting a hoodie or a poster is just cool. And it’s because we have a strong brand.
Video—TV and film—is another thing. Things like documentaries being filmed that want to license clips from our archives, stories we’ve done in the magazine that we have options to turn into full-length films. We have a documentary on Hot 97 and the history of Summer Jam that we’ve been producing for the past few years.
And then our music label, the FADER Label, is becoming a really profitable part of the business. These are all things that are in line with the brand, and then when they begin to take off we double down on them. But who knows? Tomorrow it could be something new.
Folio: How do you decide what that new thing might be? What's worth trying out and experimenting with or which extensions might be detrimental to the brand?
Cohn: I literally walk into the FADER fishbowl, which is like a big room that has the bulk of our editors, and just throw things at them, and all I have to see is their faces. It’s really not scientific. If I walked in there right now and said, “Hey guys, we’re going to be co-branding seven Chick-fil-A locations on the East Coast,” nobody would even turn their head around at me. But if it was a good idea, they’d tell me.
I have a team that’s not shy; our focus group is the collective. There are times when we’ll disagree, but they’re a good litmus test. They’re young and they’re the audience and most of them are here because they grew up reading FADER, as scary as that is to me.
I think a lot of leaders at companies think they’re the ones that are supposed to have the answers. I don’t feel that way. I want to make sure I have people that have the answers. That’s my job. I want to make sure I have people that understand and respect the brand and the history and have an idea for the future and where they want it to go, and then I empower them to do their thing.
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17 Sep 2019 | 4:45 pm EDT
September Is Becoming Just Another Month for Fashion Magazines
The story of shrinking magazines and fewer ad pages is anything but new. However, the lack of transparency in data reporting for print magazines leaves a lot of unanswered questions about how thin things really are.
Given that we are no longer able to track and accurately report on ad buys in print, we decided in 2015 to monitor some of the top fashion magazines in the industry by weighing and measuring them to create a new, albeit less-scientific dataset, so we could get a better idea of how mass-consumer fashion magazines are performing year-over-year. Four years in and the narrative is not a surprising one: things aren't looking all that good.
Since we began this project, we have seen Glamour and People Style Watch fold their print magazines. Porter cut its frequency back to two issues a year, which prompted us to remove it from the dataset. And we decided to also remove Allure altogether since it was less than half the size of the second smallest book.
But beyond that, we have seen significant shrinkage across the board over the past four years—including at Vogue, where its "thud factor" has decreased by more than 30% in that time. But the good news for Vogue is it's still the clear leader of the pack, but nobody in the set is immune to the industry's challenges and bucking the trend.
The "best" performers this year were those who remained relatively flat versus last year. Still, for InStyle and Marie Claire, remaining flat shouldn't warrant any pride, considering they sit at the bottom of the stack, so to speak.
But rather than dive into these numbers too deeply, since we provide the graphs for you here, let's quickly look at the five magazines themselves.
First of all, without nuance, four of the five magazines really want you to know this is their Fall fashion issue. The cover lines include "It's Fashion, Baby" from InStyle; "The Fashion Issue" from Harper's Bazaar; "The Power of Fashion" from Elle; and "It's the September Issue!" from Vogue.
Cover lines are intended to create excitement to sell magazines, but such explicit appeals to sell fashion in a fashion magazine arguably diminishes the trendy, exclusive character that these books built their reputations on. But this is a minor critique compared to a more glaring concern on these covers.
Take a look at all five covers and you will see four of them all have something very familiar in common: a total lack of diversity (unless you count hair color). Last year we saw we saw considerably more diversity across the dataset. However, this year Alicia Keys is the only person of color to grace the cover of one of these magazines. This isn't merely a social consciousness problem. Magazines desperately need to tap into younger, more diverse audiences if they want to grow and sustain their brand strength.
This is especially true in the social media era, where your magazine cover probably means more on Instagram than it does on the actual newsstand. It's possible that Julianne Moore or Angelina Jolie will prove to have decent sell-through rates, but how will they help grow InStyle and Elle's brand equity on digital platforms? It's somewhat of a rhetorical question for now, but one that these magazines have to consider more carefully as the September issues continue to shrink and account for less and less annual revenue.
The point I'm trying to make here is that fashion magazines don't seem to be trying to do anything differently, and are still resting on their laurels. The problem with that is our data suggest that what used to work clearly isn't working anymore. None of us should expect a comeback story here. But what we should hope for is that these magazines start thinking about their publications and their audiences differently.
We will do this same report next year. We expect there will be more decline. So our question now is: how much longer will this report be relevant before the once-dominant September looks like every other issue a magazine publishes?
Each magazine was weighed on two scales to confirm accuracy. Weights are then rounded to the nearest ounce. Additionally, each spine was measured in the middle of the book and rounded to the nearest millimeter. Because trim sizes and paper stock are not uniform, we measure both weight and spine thickness to offer a more fair comparison.
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10 Sep 2019 | 1:08 pm EDT
Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ
[caption id="attachment_170775" align="alignright" width="150"] Jennifer Litterick[/caption]
EnsembleIQ's board of directors has appointed Jennifer Litterick as the company's next CEO, effective immediately, marking the third leadership change at the Chicago-based B2B publisher since its formation in 2016 from the merger of three formerly separate companies.
Created in February 2016 when private equity firm RFE Investment Partners acquired and merged a pair of legacy B2B publishers—Edgell Communications and Stagnito Business Information—the combined company was first led by former Stagnito COO Kollin Stagnito for about four months until July 2016, when RFE acquired a third B2B media company—the Path to Purchase Institute—merged it with the other two, installed Path to Purchase CEO Hoyt as its new top executive and then rebranded the entire operation as EnsembleIQ.
A company rep didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the circumstances surrounding the departure of Shanker, who spent much of his 18-month tenure attempting to integrate the three formerly disparate companies as well as subsequent acquisitions from Rogers Media and Lebhar-Friedman.
Longtime B2B media exec Alan Glass, who had served as EnsembleIQ's executive chairman from the start, passed away on Friday at age 70, according to an obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Litterick first joined EnsembleIQ in February 2017 as publisher of Canadian Grocer shortly before being promoted, in November 2017, to president of the company's Canadian division—comprised mainly of a group of publications acquired from Rogers Media a year earlier. She then took on the additional roles of president of the company's North American retail division in October 2018 and chief commercial officer this past May.
Litterick had previously spent five and a half years with Rogers Media prior to the acquisition, as publisher of Canadian Grocer and then group publisher of it and a handful of other titles, before leaving to serve as a partner at consulting firm Pinpoint Solutions Group from 2015 to 2017.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Jennifer Litterick’s caliber and experience step up to lead EnsembleIQ,” said Mike Foster, a senior managing director at RFE Investment Partners and EnsembleIQ board member, in a press release. “We are at a pivotal moment, and during this time of transformation, there is no better person to steer EnsembleIQ into renewed growth."read more
9 Sep 2019 | 3:33 pm EDT
The Atlantic Taps Creative Leadership | People on the Move
The Atlantic named Luise Stauss as its first director of photography this week.
Stauss, who will be joining the recently-expanded art team led by creative director Peter Mendelsund, will be based out of The Atlantic’s New York office and will work to grow the magazine’s photography contributions.
“As we emphasize quality and aesthetic sophistication, our goal is to make The Atlantic an industry leader in photography. Luise is the exact right person to lead this effort,” said editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg in a statement.
Previously, Stauss helped launch T Magazine, later becoming a senior photo editor at The New York Times Magazine. And in 2014, she co-founded photography consultancy Stauss&Quint. Additionally, she has served as the director of photography at Modern Farmer, art director at AR Media and was a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts.
Elsewhere at The Atlantic, start-up strategy and design firm Faire Design was recently acquired and its founder Kate Watts was tapped as the new president of Atlantic 57, The Atlantic’s creative consulting agency. She will report to publisher and CRO Hayley Romer.
Watts founded Faire Design in January 2018, but prior to that, she spent nearly a decade at global agency Huge, most recently serving as its U.S. president. Joining her at Atlantic 57 is former Huge colleague, Chris Stempky, who will take on the role of managing director, along with three additional staff from Faire Design.
Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move...
Following several hires last week, Texas Monthly announced the appointment of a full-time taco editor, José R. Ralat, which is a brand new position for both the magazine and, according to the magazine, for the U.S. magazine industry as a whole. In this new role, Ralat will regularly contribute stories to TexasMonthly.com as well as in print, covering all things related to tacos and Mexican cuisine.
He first began covering tacos for the Dallas Observer in 2010 and later launched his own website, the Taco Trail blog. He has also written for Vice’s Munchies, Texas Highways, D Magazine, Eater and others. Most recently, he served as the food & drink editor for Cowboys & Indians magazine and he co-founded and curated the Taco Libre taco and music festival in Dallas.
Condé Nast Traveler named Jesse Ashlock as its new U.S. editor. Ashlock most recently spent the past five years with Travel + Leisure where he served as its executive editor, and prior to this, he was the online director of T Magazine, The New York Times Style Magazine and was deputy editor at Details. Based in New York, Ashlock will report to Melinda Stevens, the editor-in-chief of both the U.S. and UK CN Traveler, which recently combined teams last year. He starts on Sept. 23.
Megan O’Grady was named the new senior vice president of account management at Hearst’s branded content studio, Hearstmade. In this newly created position, O’Grady will be responsible for strategy and development and working closely with the branded content team to develop client solutions and campaigns.
Bringing over 15 years of advertising experience to this role, O’Grady has held various roles where she was tasked with leading marketing strategy and creative development for clients across various categories and industries. Most recently, she oversaw the strategic and creative arm at advertising agency McGarryBowen, and before that, she served as senior vice president, group account director at Digitas, overseeing digital and social marketing for American Express.
Bilge Ebiri and Alison Willmore are the new film critics for New York Media’s Vulture. Ebiri, who already began this new full-time position, has been with New York magazine since 2002—aside from a two year stint at The Village Voice where he was a film critic—and served as a writer and critic for the movies department. In 2018, he took on the role of deputy culture editor for the magazine, and when he’s not writing in his new role, he will be continuing his work on the print “Culture Pages” and working on digital-only projects for Vulture.
Willmore has spent the past five years at BuzzFeed where she served as its film critic and culture writer, but she has been covering and critiquing television and movies since 2011. She’s also previously held editorial roles at IFC, IndieWire and the Tribeca Film Insitute. In her new role, she will contribute critical essays and continued coverage of the industry.
G/O Media, which owns Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo and others, named Kai Falkenberg as its new general counsel, who will be tasked with providing legal counsel to the newsroom regarding libel, freedom of information, court access, litigation and news-gathering. Reporting to CEO Jim Spanfeller, she will also oversee the company’s legal, business and compliance functions.
Most recently, Falkenberg practiced media and entertainment law at Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman LLP, and prior to that, she served as the first deputy commissioner/acting commissioner for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. She also has experience as the senior legal and strategic advisor to media brands like Forbes and privately held companies like Glossybox and Charity Navigator.
Emily Dreyfuss announced that she is leaving her position as senior writer for Wired after more than five years with the brand. She first joined the publication as a senior editor before being promoted to her most recent role, and prior to that, she was a Nieman-Berkman Klein fellow at Harvard University. She has not yet announced what her next move is.
Stephanie Fried, Condé Nast’s former EVP of marketing, research and analytics, is also departing the company to join pop culture media site Fandom as its new chief marketing officer. Fried will be tasked with leading Fandom's brand vision, including everything from consumer and sales marketing to research, events and communications. Fried previously spent nearly four years at Condé, and prior to that role, she held various leadership positions at Discovery, Inc., VEVO and NBCUniversal.
The Washington Examiner tapped three new reporters. Abby Smith joins the publication from Bloomberg Environment and in her new role, will cover energy and environment policy. Mother Jones’ Nihal Krishan will cover economic policy and former media analyst at the Washington Free Beacon, Jeffrey Cimmino, is covering culture and politics.
ALM expanded its Litigation desk with the hire of Jane Wester as a reporter. Based in New York, Wester will write for the New York Law Journal. Previously, she worked for the Charlotte Observer where she covered public safety and local courts.
Time named Andi Leibowitz as its new senior designer. Most recently, Leibowitz worked at content creation platform Ceros, where she served as a senior digital designer, but before that, she spent a year and a half as a digital designer for The Foundry at Meredith Corp., which was previously owned by Time Inc. In her new role, she will be tasked with working across the brand’s marketing and content teams to create new web experiences that highlight Time’s voice.
Quartz is launching a new investigative reporting team that will be headed by John Keefe, who is taking on the role of investigations editor. Previously, Keefe led the Quartz AI Studio. Machine Learning journalist Jeremy B. Merrill will also be on the four-person team, and the remaining two roles are still accepting applications.
Janna Herron joined Yahoo Finance to lead its personal finance coverage this week. A veteran finance reporter, Herron has contributed business, personal finance and real estate content for over 15 years, most recently at USA Today. She has also previously worked for The Associated Press, Bankrate, The Fiscal Times and ValuePenguin.
The Institute for Advanced Study named Joanne Lipman as its first Peretsman Scully Distinguished Journalism Fellow. Currently a CNBC contributor and author, Lipman will be tasked with participating in lectures, panels and broadcasts, as well as work with faculty and members. She formerly served as the chief content officer of Gannett and as the editor-in-chief of USA Today.
Erik Engquist is leaving Crain’s New York Business after 14 years. Starting Sept. 16, Engquist will join The Real Deal as its new senior managing editor. At Crain’s, he most recently served as an assistant managing editor and was tasked with running the politics desk, writing editorials and curating op-eds.
The former editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt Media Group, Andreas Kluth is joining Bloomberg as an opinions editor. Kluth, who is a 19-year veteran of The Economist, is based in Berlin, Germany and will write and edit columns for the site. While at The Economist, he most recently served as the Berlin bureau chief, but prior to that, he held various correspondent roles.
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9 Sep 2019 | 9:19 am EDT