The Atlantic has revealed some ambitious plans for CityLab.com.
The urban-focused, stand-alone website, which this week celebrates the fifth anniversary of its launch, will soon expand its editorial, product, sales, and marketing staffs in an effort to double both audience and revenue, The Atlantic president Bob Cohn announced today.
Leading the charge is Robert Bole, who originally joined The Atlantic in June in an advisory role and today was named CityLab's first-ever general manager. A longtime media strategist, Bole appears uniquely suited for the role given his background in both digital media and city planning.
Prior to his arrival at The Atlantic, Bole was a senior international advisor to The New York Times and director of global strategy at the Broadcasting Board of Governors. After earning a master's degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, Bole began his career as a housing program specialist in Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon.
"Rob arrives with the perfect mix of experience. He's spent most of his career leading digital and global strategy for media companies," wrote Cohn in a staff memo Tuesday morning.
Working closely with CityLab editor Sommer Mathis, Bole will be responsible for all of the site's operations with the explicit goal of doubling its revenue and digital audience in 2017, according to Cohn.
"Cities are at the center of our globalizing world," said Bole in a prepared statement. "CityLab has to become an information source for a global audience of not only 'city builders,' but a broader audience of people who care about and want to improve their urban communities."
Originally launched in 2011 as Atlantic Cities, the site was rebranded and given its own URL in 2014. CityLab Latino, a Spanish-language joint-venture between The Atlantic and Univision, went live as part of Univision.com in April. Offline, The brand also produces an annual conference devoted to innovation in urban governance.