Rising Stars: EW’s Madeline Boardman On Nostalgia and Continuing a Legacy
Coming from Seattle, where Patagonia and Gore-Tex is “the raddest fashion,” spending a summer at W surrounded by couture in the closet sounds a bit surreal. However, that was Madeline Boardman’s reality the summer after her sophomore year at Northwestern University.
The current digital features editor at Entertainment Weekly says getting that first taste of a major national magazine confirmed her desire to join the industry and she got to learn the inner workings of the masthead.
“I spent my college years stalking Ed2010 for listings and finally made it to New York for my first big internship… I applied for probably 80 gigs, and finally landed a fashion internship with W,” says the 27-year-old.
Boardman grew up around journalism—her father was the editor of The Seattle Times. She says after her childhood dream of becoming the first female shortstop didn’t pan out, she came to terms with the fact that her skills were in writing and editing.
“I would be entering the family business. I found a way to rebel—and to satisfy my complete obsession with titles like YM, Glamour, and Jane—by going into magazines rather than newspapers,” she says.
Last year, newsstand sales actually increased for EW and the brand has expanded with new initiatives with the introduction of PopFest—a weekend-long celebration of everything entertainment—and PEN, the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, a new streaming platform with original and exclusive programming.
The brand has also built out its features coverage in recent months, expanding EW’s team with a new hire and upping production by more than 70%. Boardman has seen the returns not just in page views, “but in the breadth of content we’ve been able to cover,” she says.
“As we’ve expanded our scope, we’ve brought in new readers, tapping into nostalgia of cult favorites through stories like the That Thing You Do! oral history we published last fall and bringing in Millennial readers with regular celebrations of everything ‘90s and ‘00s.”
Currently, Boardman has her hands pretty full as the brand approachs awards season. “I’m in the midst of Oscars, Grammys, and SAGs prep.” For her team, that means posting extensive walk-up content in the days leading up to the show, all huddling together in a conference room over Shake Shack to cover the show, and spending the next day debriefing to get a full picture of the event.