Rising Stars: Sam Jacobs Helps Time Find a Younger Audience
Sam Jacobs says that he has been a “magazine geek” for a long time. The assistant managing director of Time still has a picture he drew in the sixth grade of his “own” copy of Time magazine. He admits that the brand has always been more than a magazine for him and acknowledges that it has changed a lot in the three years he’s been there.
Jacobs, 30, landed his first position in the media industry at the Daily Beast as an intern in 2009 after making a “totally unsubtle plea for a job” to a Bloomberg reporter.
“[The reporter] wrote a story about college journalists who were fleeing what the news agency called a ‘ravaged profession.’ When I talked to the reporter, I still hadn’t found a job, but I told him I was still hopeful about the ‘ravaged profession’ all the same. A friend nudged Edward Felsenthal, then the executive editor of the Daily Beast, who read the piece,” says Jacobs.
In 2013, he joined Time.com as a senior editor and barely a year later was promoted to his current role.
“In the last few years [I’ve helped] recruit dozens of new editors and reporters… We’ve more than doubled our digital audience. We’ve introduced new verticals like Motto and Time Labs and built a new home for our wonderful History coverage,” Jacobs says.
In May, according to comScore, more than 50% of Time’s audience was made up of people ages 18 to 34—a clear indication that Jacobs’ prediction is coming true and Time is successfully finding a younger audience through newer platforms.
From the Orlando shooting to Brexit to this month’s conventions, Jacobs says this is amongst the most challenging times to be covering the news. He also says that he misses “covering politics every day as a reporter, so I’m particularly excited to see how our Washington bureau covers the final stretch of the campaigns.”
He tells min that his greatest success while at Time has been his instrumental role in leading the brand’s new digital team. But, as evidenced by his forward-thinking attitude and excitement for the upcoming election, he always has his sights set on the future.
“Our video and photography teams are finding amazing ways to document the campaign. Outside of politics, I’m psyched to keep working with the many reporters, editors, producers, and designers who create the growing number of digital feature stories we publish on Time.com,” Jacobs says.