The best way to frame FishbowlNY’s phone conversation today with Lea Ann Leming, chief content officer of SheKnows (pictured, right), and newly hired editor-in-chief Amy Boshnack (pictured, below) is as follows. The company has been profitable for the past several years and expects a 30% increase in revenue in 2014.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that Cosmopolitan, a magazine where Boshnack served as managing editor from January 2005 to January 2008, has just revamped its website. When asked about the then-print vs. now-Web differences, Boshnack notes the obvious change in the speed of news and feature cycles. Per comScore, SheKnows currently averages around 40 million monthly uniques.
“A big thing for me is making sure the women reading us are having conversations,” Boshnack explains. “Part of what’s being done here is continuing to make sure that articles being published are about things women are talking about. And to feed that through our comments section, social media.”
Adds Leming: “Video is also extremely important to our business. We do a daily entertainment show called The Buzz and our video unit also puts together the regular program Mommalogues (featuring Nancy O’Dell).”
“Coming from the cable news space, working at CNN, HLN, Turner Broadcasting and most recently ABC News, I am fascinated by the opportunity to deliver over-the-top networks,” Leming adds. “We will be launching a variety of new shows over the coming months.”
SheKnows still has an office in Scottsdale, Arizona, where a group of mommy bloggers launched the brand. Boshnack and Leming, who worked previously together on The Frisky (before it was sold by Turner) and via an HLN-CafeMoms partnership, are both based in New York. Other company offices are located in Los Angeles and Chicago, focused respectively on entertainment content and sales.
Cleverly, SheKnows also owns the domain heknows.com. There’s no male-knowledge site there, yet. At this point, the URL simply grabs typo-victimized Web users and repoints them to the “mother ship.”
The company recently hired Kate Durkin to oversee its contributor network (a.k.a. Experts Among Us). There have been 75+ hires in the past year and soon to be announced will be a new social media editor and parenting editor.
More than half of SheKnows’ traffic comes from mobile; Boshnack says a number of changes are in process to the site to optimize that user experience. Asked to cite articles that really took off since Boshnack joined the company last month, the EIC points to ongoing coverage of the tragedy in Georgia of the father who left his child in a hot car and a reaction piece to Kim Kardashian‘s statement that women can have it all.
“You can’t be a mother and a CEO and a wife, and actually have it all,” Boshnack argues. “One of our experts, Vera Sweeney (a mother of three), posted a response to that effect and it is so dead-on. This is exactly what I mean when I talk about starting a conversation, as well as being authentic. It’s the kind of thing that is perfect for SheKnows to cover.”
Another content highlight so far for Boshnack is SheKnows’ coverage of the mother who got into hot coffee by breastfeeding at a Starbucks. “We jumped on that, quickly, and were able to speak to the woman in question.”
Leming separately points to an intriguing bit of recent video for the SheKnows Ask Kids series. Young moviegoers talked to the site about their impressions of Angelina Jolie‘s character in Maleficent, both before and after seeing the film.
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