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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Kotok’

The Two-Pronged Approach Responsible for The Week’s Record Traffic

StevenKotkoHeadshotThe Web stats are all going in the right direction.

In May, per comScore, theweek.com registered 7.7 million unique visitors across all platforms. The Google Analytics numbers were even higher (ten million uniques). Meanwhile, for the first half of 2014, The Week will be reporting at the end of the month to the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) its highest-ever circulation total. Those stats will be publicly released August 7.

So how did they do it? “It’s really two-fold,” explains The Week and Mental Floss CEO Steven Kotok (pictured) during a recent phone conversation with FishbowlNY. “We’ve completely remade the content of the site in the last six to nine months, and there were two prongs to that.”

“On the one prong, we just went on a hiring spree and really wanted to hire the best, young opinion writers in the country,” he adds. “People we love to read and also, people with more ability on social media. Most of these people were brought on full-time; a couple have permanent freelance arrangements.”

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Steven Kotok Shares Some Felix Dennis Memories

Steven Kotok, a long-serving employee at Felix Dennis‘ various media enterprises and current CEO of The Week and Mental Floss, was among those who shared fond reminiscences for a recent theweek.com tribute following the colorful magnate’s passing. Speaking today via telephone with FishbowlNY, Kotok was kind enough to add a few more.

FelixDennisPic1

“My first memory of Felix is back before Maxim was launched,” Kotok recalls. “It was a 12-person company in 1997 and this guy wandered up holding the plastic part of a six-pack of beer, that had three or four beers left in it. And some Doritos.”

“I was working away in the office at 7 p.m. or something, and he offered me a beer and Doritos. That was the first time I met him,” he adds. “He was a person who just, absolutely, did not want to stand on ceremony or pretense. I think if he had been an assistant, he would have behaved the exact same way. He didn’t know how to be any other way.”

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The Week to Increase Publishing Frequency

It seems that increasing print output is suddenly in vogue. On the same day that Newsweek announced it was returning to print, The Week declared that it was increasing the number of issues it publishes next year from 48 to 51. Yes, it’s a tiny bump up, but still, it’s a bump.

Given that The Week’s ad pages were down 21 percent this year, increasing the number of issues is a curious decision. But Steven Kotok, CEO of The Week and Mental Floss, told Ad Age that it was actually a smart financial move. “Each one of our issues is profitable,” explained Kotok. “If we add more issues, we’re more profitable.”

The reason adding issues is profitable for The Week is that it earns a huge chunk of its revenue — 65 percent — from subscriptions. So, added Kotok, “Whether advertising had gone up or down, we’d be making more money by adding issues.”

The Week Continues to Rise

The Week, which was founded in the UK back in 1995, is doing its best Beatles imitation. Much like the Fab Four, the magazine came stateside and has been a hit ever since. And just like the Beatles, as time goes on, The Week’s popularity only increases. It made a $4 million profit last year and it was among the top weeklies during the first half of this year.

According to min, next year will be another bright one for The Week, because it’s increasing its rate base from 510,000 to 525,000. The Week’s President, Steven Kotok, says that readers drive its success:

Our number one source of new subscriptions is our current subscribers turning on their friends, families, and colleagues to The Week. Not only is this a rewarding validation of our efforts editorially, but The Week‘s subscribers know better than any computer model or mailing list who else will enjoy [our] sophisticated blend of multiple perspectives. And their evangelism of our editorial product doesn’t just drive The Week‘s growth, but it is the most cost-effective way to gain new subscribers in the business and contributes to [our] ongoing strength.

In other words, The Week gets by with a little help from its friends. Or The Week has come together because of reader loyalty. Oh! Try this: For The Week, it’s getting better all the time. Alright, we’ll stop. No need to twist and shout.

Sorry.

The Week GM Promoted to President

Steven Kotok_10575_10576.JPGFirst on FishbowlNY: Steven Kotok, general manager of The Week‘s U.S. edition, is being promoted to president of The Week Publications, Inc. He has been with the magazine since 2002 and in his current position since 2007.

Kotok joined Dennis Publishing, which produces The Week, in 1996 and served as publisher of Maxim Books before joining the American version of the successful newsmagazine. It’s one of the few publications gaining advertising pages, posting double-digit percentage gain during the first quarter of 2009. Adweek named The Week No. 1 on its “10 Under 60″ Hot List.

In one of Kotok’s first moves as president, he announced a host of other new positions. Kevin Morgan is the new CFO, while Arielle Starkman joins as controller. David Weeks moves from The Economist to become international advertising director. Lori Crook joins as production director with Shelby Washington coming onboard as senior promotion manager.

Both releases are after the jump.

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