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Digital

Slate Names Dan Kois Culture Editor

Dan Kois GSlate has named Dan Kois its new culture editor. Kois, a senior editor at Slate, was most recently editor of the site’s Book Review section. He is also a contributor to The New York Times Magazine.

As the founding editor of New York’s culture blog, Vulture, Kois has plenty of pop culture chops. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Awl, Oxford American and Television Without Pity.

Julia Turner, Slate’s new editor-in-chief, announced Kois’ appointment on Twitter.

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The New Yorker Launches Revamped Website

The New Yorker’s website has a brand new look. The revamped newyorker.com has a good amount of white space — which makes reading easier — and highlights one featured article on the homepage and each subsection.

The updated newyorker.com is less difficult to navigate than the previous version. Each subsection is listed at the top of the page and new content is clearly marked under a section titled “The Latest.” The new site, according to a note from the glossy’s editors, gives staffers more flexibility when reacting to the news of the day.

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A Consolidation of Brooklyn Hyper-Local

BensonhurstBeanBannerThis particular media merger did not exactly make headlines. But you can bet any and all interested in the future of hyper-local will be paying close attention.

From metropolitan news reporter Vivian Yee‘s article in the New York Times:

Last week, [Ned] Berke merged Sheepshead Bites and its sister site, Bensonhurst Bean, into Corner Media, a network of neighborhood blogs run by Liena Zagare that will now reach a combined 250,000 readers every month. Zagare and Berke, who is a senior editor as well as an associate publisher of the network, say their approach — intensely local, intimate and community-based, with a heart — is the future of hyper-local journalism, a business that industry watchers have long forecast as the future of journalism itself.

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Cosmo Launches Subscription-Based Fitness Channel

Cosmopolitan has launched a subscription-based digital fitness channel. CosmoBody will stream exercise, wellness and lifestyle programs for $9.95 per month. There is a 10-day free trail available.

CosmoBody will include workouts from eight trainers plus other specialized content, like Cosmo’s editor Joanna Coles interviewing Kate Upton; week-long fitness challenges; cooking shows that focus on healthy foods; and more. One of the more interesting aspects of CosmoBody is that it allows users to track their progress, and eventually they’ll be able to sync the data with wearable fitness devices.

Coles and Cosmo’s fitness editor, Liz Plosser, played big roles in developing the content for CosmoBody. The questions is: Will it be enough to bring in the subscriptions? Because if the content doesn’t shine, people are not going to pay for this.

Sports Illustrated Sets Web Traffic Record with LeBron James Essay

FishbowlNY called it. When LeBron James announced his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers via an essay on Sports Illustrated’s site, we said SI.com would be setting records. Lo and behold, it did. James’ piece attracted 6.1 million unique visitors to SI.com, good for its most UVs ever.

James’ essay beat out the old record holder — Richard Sherman’s column on MMQB — by almost two million UVs. Sherman’s article, posted in late January, netted 4.3 million UVs.

Turns out having the best player in the NBA write for you is a good thing. Who knew? Aside from us, we mean.

The New Yorker to Launch New Paywall

Beginning July 21, The New Yorker’s content — dating back to 2007 — will be available for all to read online. We suggest you take advantage of this, because in three months, the glossy is closing everything back up; sealed behind a new, metered paywall.

The New York Times reports that the motivation behind opening up newyorker.com was to find out how readers interacted with the site, and then use that data to construct the revamped paywall. The magazine also hopes to add subscribers via the promotion.

We’re excited about this idea, because in the past, it was almost pointless to go to The New Yorker’s site unless you were a subscriber. You never really knew which articles would be available to non-subscribers, and the selection was always minimal.

David Remnick, the magazine’s editor, admitted as much. He told the Times that their method for selecting magazine content that was available online was “awkward” and had “long since outlived its conception.”

Cosmo Revamps Website

Cosmopolitan.com has received quite a makeover. The site is slicker, faster and cleaner than the old version. Yes, it has the “mobile look” that many people don’t like — featuring the clickable menu in the upper lefthand corner of the page — but Cosmo’s isn’t as clunky as some we’ve seen.

An interesting aspect of the new site is something called “Marketplace,” which is essentially just a collection of sponsored links. By clicking “Best Designer Dresses,” you’re taken to another set of links to the advertisers’ sites. Marketplace is definitely one of the more clever forms of native advertising that we’ve seen.

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Jezebel Staffers Disappointed with New Editor

Jezebel’s incoming editor — Emma Carmichael — doesn’t start until September, but she’s already involved in some drama. According to Capital New York, several of Jezebel’s staffers are upset that Carmichael (who is white) was chosen over Jezebel’s deputy editorDodai Stewart (who is black).

Stewart has been with Jezebel since 2007, and apparently many thought she was the perfect choice to take over the site from Jessica Coen. “I know we were all really rooting for her,” said one staffer. Instead, Nick Denton opted to bring in Carmichael, and the rumblings began:

I wouldn’t say that we’re unhappy with Emma at all, but… we had like a really optimal choice that they passed over.

Translation: We’re unhappy they picked Emma.

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How Arianna Sparked Journalist to a ‘HuffPost for Surfers’

If you’re a surfer, you’re most likely already familiar with The Inertia, a super-slick website covering all things big-wave. What you may not know is the critical role played in the genesis of the site by the long reach of NYC.

TheInertiaSlide

The site is the brainchild of Zach Weisberg who, back in 2010 as editor-at-large of Surfer magazine, wrote a controversial blog post about racism in the sport. After refusing internal pressure to take it down, the post was nonetheless taken down by his publisher, leading Weisberg to quit and paddle out in search of his next venture.

Per a great little article by Honolulu-based Huffington Post fellow James Cave, Weisberg’s process at that time included a “soul-searching” trip to New York:

Weisberg happened upon a seminar given by Arianna Huffington, and was so inspired by her presentation that he was able to apply her vision for new media into the world he inhabited. “I listened to her talk and her vision at the moment; I felt that it could work perfectly in the world of surf and action sports. I decided to give it a shot, to try and build that.”

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Boy Genius Report’s Jonathan Geller on the Benefits on Anonymity

Jonathan-Geller-200

Jonathan Geller has already lived an incredibly full life, and he’s not yet 30 years old. The founder of Boy Genius Report (the uber-popular mobile tech site) dropped out of high school his sophomore year to pursue a career in the music industry, which eventually led him to write an anonymous column for Engadget. This, in turn, led to the creation of BGR.com.

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Geller talks about writing for Engadget at 17, almost being sued by Cingular and the benefits of anonymity:

I stayed anonymous because at the time I was doing both music and [writing], and I didn’t want to be known in both worlds. I also liked the hype and marketing opportunities and uniqueness of being anonymous. I was this 17-year-old kid running the site, and the head of AT&T thought there were 1,000 people behind it, and he’s trying to come after me. Everyone in the tech industry feared me. By the time BGR got acquired by PMC, I decided to finally out myself. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I wanted to be a visible figure and the public face of my brand.

For more from Geller, including his advice for people starting a career covering tech, read: So What Do You Do, Jonathan Geller, President and Editor-in-Chief of Boy Genius Report?

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