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Exclusive: Huge Changes Underway at Good

Photo: Good co-founder Casey Caplowe

In this day and age, an open job at a media company–any open job–tends to draw the intrigue of packs of hungry journos. So when we happened to cruise over to Good‘ magazine’s “jobs” section the other day and noticed there are currently 19 open positions posted, we kind of freaked out. 19 open jobs!!! Big ones too: staff writer; art director; social media manager. And some strange ones like “partner content editor” as well.

Where exactly does a mid-sized media company get the cash to launch that kind of hiring spree? Was there a purge we didn’t hear about? An infusion of venture cash? And what’s a partner content editor?

We had to know, so we met with Good co-founder and creative director Casey Caplowe at the company’s Hollywood office and asked him what’s happening. As it turns out, a lot. Too much to talk about in one post.

Caplowe says there was no purge, other than parting ways with their longtime editor-in-chief. Likewise, there was no VC infusion. “Broadly speaking,” says Caplowe, “we got a lot better at our business. Basic stuff. Keeping costs down, efficiently using our resources. But also on the revenue side, we were able to establish some customized advertising partnerships.”

What Caplowe is really talking about is Good’s “Pepsi Refresh” project from a couple of years ago. The project took a huge amount of seed money from Pepsi and, using Good’s web expertise and socially conscious readership, crowdsourced the funds to various humanitarian and artistic projects throughout the world. Apparently Good made money off the deal. Don Draper money. “We were paid at an ad agency rate,” says Caplowe. Meaning the company is now loaded and looking to expand in all kinds of directions.

First on the list: because of the success of Pepsi Refresh, Good is opening an advertising wing to complement its editorial operation. “We view our business in two pieces: all the media stuff and now our new unit ‘Good to Business.’”

Like the Pepsi project, Good is looking to help companies brainstorm more socially conscious campaigns–branding themselves through partnerships and good works instead of banner ads. Caplowe says the new business wing of the company is the primary driver of the company’s profits, but that the media side is in the black too. “I think we’ve been able to do well because we embraced the web really early. We started the company in 2006, so we didn’t freak out when the print model collapsed in 2008.

“We’re proud of the work that goes into the magazine, but at this point it’s almost a side project. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. But we put a lot of work into branding our website. We publish the magazine quarterly now and we don’t expect that to change.”

Caplowe says there are plenty of jobs open at Good–likely more than those listed on the company’s site. Many in the new Good to Business wing, but several in editorial too. Ann Friedman was just hired as Good‘s new executive editor and Caplowe expects to make several other “key hires” in the coming weeks and months. That’s because, aside from its advertising wing, Good is on the verge of debuting a new, LA-centered media/event/crowdsourcing hive called Good Local.

But more on that tomorrow…

Previously on Fishbowl LA: Good Hires New Executive Editor

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