The 2017 Folio: 100 — Changemakers
Cartoon Editor, The New YorkerEmma Allen succeeds longtime veteran Bob Mankoff as cartoon editor for The New Yorker, the third ever in the position, selecting cartoons and creating a digital presence for the brand-within-a-brand.
The New Yorker is known and loved for its cartoons. Allen, now the fourth cartoon editor in the magazine’s history, succeeds longtime veteran Bob Mankoff, who spent 20 years in the role. She has worked at the magazine for five years, beginning her new position earlier this year. Allen formerly served as editor for the magazine’s “The Talk of the Town” section, and also edits “Daily Shouts,” the humor and satire web section, which has seen a 60 percent increase in traffic since last year.
In her new role, Allen’s responsibilities include selecting cartoons, running the caption contest, working on video and radio humor pieces for the magazine, running its Twitter account and creating an overall larger digital footprint for cartoons at the publication.
Editor-in-chief, SB NationThe head of the behemoth sports brand, Elena Bergeron is the woman driving the conversation forward in a male-dominated sector.
SB Nation, which started out 10 years ago as a fan blog, currently has more than 80 full-time staffers and generates 400 million monthly content views. Bergeron, who was promoted to the position of editor-in-chief back in March 2017, is tasked with steering the editorial voice of SBNation.com. In addition to the flagship site, Bergeron is also leading SB Nation’s collection of more than 300 team sites, five mixed martial arts combat websites, and SB Nation’s video program. “One voice, many places, getting louder every day,” she wrote in March. She also oversaw the 2017 refresh of SBNation.com.
Postmaster General, USPSMegan Brennan is the first female postmaster general, a role that is critical to the state of magazine media.
The U.S. postal service is critical to the health of magazine media, among many other industries, and Brennan is the first female postmaster general in USPS history. Last year, the organization saw $1.5 billion in operating revenue for periodicals, a category that includes magazines, adding to $71.4 billion total operating revenue, about a $3 billion increase from the year prior.
In her role as postmaster general, Brennan advances transformative strategies and shapes growth opportunities for the company. Along with her team, she works to enhance the use of data and technology, while increasing the pace of product and service innovations and to continuing process improvements throughout the organization comprised of 640,000 employees.
CTO, New York MediaLarry Chevres is CTO of New York Media, where he oversees award-winning, traffic-driven digital brands like Vulture, The Cut, and Grub Street.
Under Chevres’ leadership as CTO, New York media has seen major growth in the digital realm, with NYMag.com at 19.8 million monthly unique visitors, Vulture at 10.4 million, The Cut at 8.4 million, and Grub Street at 1.1 million. Additionally, he oversaw The Cut’s recent redesign to a mobile-first platform, a move intended to enhance reader and smartphone experience. The redesign also features a video series.
For the past six years as CTO, Chevres has overseen the brand’s technology operations on its desktop and mobile sites and applications, while managing strategies on new technology initiatives and collaborating with all departments. He previously served as VP of engineering at Ziff Davis.
Conference Director, Informa (New Hope Network)Jenna Fitch oversees conference programming for Informa/Penton’s New Hope Network, which has emerged as a major revenue driver for the newly merged companies.
For the past two years, Jenna Fitch has served as community and conference content director for the Informa-owned New Hope Network, which consists of the Natural Products Expo (East and West), among a series of other events, data, and research products serving the healthy lifestyle products industry.
Following Informa’s acquisition of Penton in 2016, Fitch contributed considerably to a successful integration of the two major firms, helping oversee a 2017 edition of Natural Products Expo West that achieved record attendance and revenue.
VP Branded Content, MashableMary Gail Pezzimenti is a magazine media vet who oversees the core of Mashable’s business.
Back in June of 2017, Mashable hired Pezzimenti as the company’s vice president of branded content. She joined the Mashable team after leading The Huffington Post’s Creative Lab, a division of AOL’s Partner Studio. Pezzimenti is playing a key role at Mashable — about 80 percent of the company’s advertising deals lie in branded content, according to reports. Mashable claims 93 million unique visitors, with 60 percent of traffic coming from mobile. In May, the company rolled out Mashable Reels to advertising partners — the content experience mimics Snapchat Discover stories, on the mobile web and on desktop.
Chief Creative Officer, PlayboyCooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy, has returned the magazine to its original roots, allowing nudity on its pages after a year-long hiatus.
Playboy saw a return to its original roots this year, largely due to the leadership of Cooper Hefner, the company’s chief creative officer. In its March/April 2017 issue, the magazine returned to allowing nudity in its pages, which saw a brief hiatus for a little over a year.
Under Hefner’s leadership, the rebrand of the magazine and its digital presence has led to a 17.8 million total follower base on social platforms, 15 million monthly page views, and 1.1 million total app downloads.
Senior Vice President, Creative and Content, The FoundryChristopher Hercik is the man behind Time Inc.’s content marketing operation.
Since assuming his role in 2014, Hercik now manages a team of over 150 designers, editors, developers, and producers who are all dedicated to content marketing, from insights and ideation to production, fulfillment and optimization. Hercik has also spearheaded the Virtual Reality (VR) movement at Time Inc., which included the relaunch of a digital first, iconic brand: LIFE VR. The LIFE VR vertical includes forward looking, video-based 360 videos and fully immersive room scale experiences. He first joined Time Inc. some 15 years ago as creative director of one of the company’s flagship brands, Sports Illustrated — a position he still holds to this day.
User Experience Architect, Atlantic Media StrategiesZach Kalman is a design architect working to help users and brands advance ideas in the global community.
Launched back in 2012, Atlantic Media Strategies (AMS) is both a creative agency and a consulting firm within Atlantic Media, and Kalman’s role with AMS is focused on user experience strategy and information architecture. AMS has partnered with a number of organizations and media companies, including the World Food Program, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As the UX architect for a recent MIT project called Solve, Kalman helped build a website and application program that connects innovators with resources to solve the political, economic, and cultural challenges faced by the most underserved communities.
Editor-in-chief, Apple NewsLauren Kern is the first-ever editor-in-chief of Apple News.
Apple changed the world (and publishing) with the iPhone and iPad, and now content companies are waiting to see how Kern may change things as the first-ever editor-in-chief of Apple News. She moved into the position in June, and the world took notice: It’s a sign that the global tech behemoth is getting much more serious about content. Before Apple, Kern had served as executive editor of New York Magazine, and she was also deputy editor for The New York Times Magazine from 2010 to 2014. In 2016, Apple reported 70 million active users of the Apple news app.
CRO/CMO, Bleacher ReportHoward Mittman is an industry veteran who’s gone digital-only.
In August of 2017, Howard Mittman joined the team at Bleacher Report. Over the next three years, Turner Broadcasting — the parent company of Bleacher Report — intends to invest $100 million in the site, whose properties reach about 250 million people across a variety of platforms. After more than a decade with Condé Nast, it’s no wonder why Mittman recently made the jump to Bleacher Report. Prior to joining the sports site, Mittman was Condé Nast’s chief business officer for GQ, GQ Style, Golf Digest, Golf World, Pitchfork, and the Wired Media Group, which includes Ars Technica, Backchannel, and Wired.
Content Marketing Director, OutsideSam Moulton is a seasoned editor bringing authentic stories to the marketing side of the business.
A former editor at Outside magazine, Moulton jumped over to the marketing side of the business back in February 2015. It’s his past editorial experience, colleagues say, that make Moulton uniquely positioned to bring authentic branded content experiences to both consumers and advertising partners. For example, in April 2017, Outside partnered with REI, a specialty outdoor retailer, to create a special women’s print issue to advance gender equality outdoors. The partnership also included more women-centric stories and bylines at Outside Online, an episode on Outside Television, a special podcast series, and a documentary film produced in partnership with REI.
Digital Editorial Director, Teen VoguePhillip Picardi has helped oversee a total transformation at Teen Vogue, boosting not only the brand’s public profile, but the size of its digital audience.
Phillip Picardi, who has revamped Teen Vogue as a digital-first brand, not only quadrupled traffic to TeenVogue.com (breaking internal records), but has brought the brand into the political conversation in an unprecedented way, as manifested by his guest spots on CNN and articles that have caught the attention of unlikely media figures for an ostensibly teen-focused brand, like Tucker Carlson and Dan Rather.
Recently, Condé Nast promoted Picardi to digital editorial director of Allure, in addition to his current duties at Teen Vogue, where he has led the digital team since April 2015.
Chief Agency Officer, Condé NastAfter two decades on the agency side of the business, Jonathan Schaaf steps into a new but critical role at an evolving company.
After spending several years overseeing digital investments at advertising agencies around the world, Schaaf jumped to the publisher side of the business when he joined Condé Nast to take on the new but immediately critical role of chief agency officer. As the company increasingly focuses on selling its full, cross-brand audiences to major advertisers, Schaaf is tasked with maintaining Condé Nast’s relationships with agencies – and with good reason; Schaaf brings to the new role experience at Omnicom Media Group, Razorfish, and Gyro, after beginning his career at Wired.
VP of Media, Competitor GroupJessie Sebor is bringing new sensibilities to established brands, and achieving impressive results.
Over her seven-year tenure as editor-in-chief of Women’s Running, Jessie Sebor repositioned the monthly title as not just a fitness magazine, but an advocate for inclusion, empowerment, and positivity. Covers that once almost exclusively featured models in sports bras and taglines teasing 24-hour diets and shortcuts to flat abs gave way to women of all body types, who encourage readers with messages like “Love yourself,” “Dream big,” and “Feel great.” In the past year alone, Women’s Running cover stars included a wheelchair track and field star, a transgender woman, and a runner wearing a hijab.
Sebor’s impact was felt on the business side too, where digital traffic more then doubled in the last two years to over one million monthly visitors. In her new role as VP of Media, Sebor now aims to apply her winning formula to the company’s full portfolio of media brands.
While the proliferation of social media platforms has not had the same acute affect on all publishers that it has on some, their impact on the media industry at large cannot be ignored. Both less than seven years old, each platform boasts at least 150 million active users (with some estimates for Instagram reaching as high as 700 million users), large swaths of whom are members of the ever-coveted millennial demographic. As much of the innovation in the media business continues to revolve around video, where each platform heads next is open to debate – but one thing is clear: Snapchat and Instagram have clearly justified their standing in a conversation once dominated by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Founders, theSkimmDanielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, founders of theSkimm, are pioneers in the movement toward brief news with serious attitude and tone.
TheSkimm is one of the fastest-growing email newsletters and media brands currently on the market. It serves important yet snackable news to audiences across the globe. Since theSkimm launched in 2012, it has grown rapidly, with more than five-million readers opening the newsletter every weekday. Together, Weisberg and Zakin have reached a coveted audience — millennials — and raised more than $15 million from venture capitalists. Together, these entrepreneurial publishers are growing their brand with the launch of the paid subscription news app Skimm Ahead, and are now serving up a variety of content offerings across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Medium.
Editor-in-chief, Teen Vogue
Elaine Welteroth is editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, where she has led the brand through its new era focused on politics and culture, growing the brand drastically and increasing web traffic.
Teen Vogue has always been known in the fashion and beauty markets, but it is now seeing a shift in tone after its coverage following the election of President Trump. Welteroth’s leadership, along with the collaboration of her team, appears to be paying off, with web traffic reaching a record high of 9.2 million unique views up from 2.7 last year, as well as 27 million-plus monthly impressions through a collection of print, digital, more than 15 social media platforms, and a video channel.
President and Chief Operating Officer, Wenner MediaFresh off two major sales, the 26-year-old executive is steering Rolling Stone in an ambitious new direction.
Heir apparent to the legacy of the company his father founded, 26-year-old Gus Wenner officially made his presence known when the company sold-off Us Weekly and Men’s Journal to American Media, in the process becoming debt-free and significantly reducing its dependence on print advertising. This freed Wenner Media to pursue the direction in which Gus sees the most lucrative future: video – not just quick-hits tailored for social media, but high-production, long-form, documentary style pieces, something Wenner feels Rolling Stone has always done in one form or another. While it is unclear when Gus will fully take the reins from his father Jann, it is clear is that the junior Wenner is steering the legacy media brand in a direction he believes in.