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Posts Tagged ‘The Week’

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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RIP: Felix Dennis

DennisPublishingLogoIn the U.S., Dennis Publishing’s footprint had been reduced to The Week and Mental Floss. But it is of course for the vertiginous rise of Maxim magazine that the company’s flamboyant chief executive chairman Felix Dennis will be most remembered here.

With news that Dennis passed away over the weekend at age 67 after a long battle with throat cancer, the fond reminiscences are starting to be shared. From a piece by The Guardian‘s David Hepworth:

Although Felix loved the company of journalists and photographers, he never made the mistake of getting hung up on editorial. When Maxim was at its height in the United States, I sat with him while he went through a new issue, purring over every page of advertising, pulling out a gatefold and cackling, “You know how much they paid for that?”

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The Week Adds National Correspondent

The Week has named Ryan Cooper national correspondent. Cooper was most recently a web editor and contributor for The Washington Monthly.

Cooper’s writing has also appeared in The Washington Post and The New Republic. He previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa from 2009-2011.

Cooper begins at The Week February 18.

The Week Hires Former Patch Chief Content Officer

The Week Inc., parent of The Week and Mental Floss, has hired Rachel Fishman Feddersen as its new general manager of digital. Fishman Feddersen comes to the company from AOL’s Patch, where she served as chief content officer.

Fishman Feddersen had been with AOL for just a little over a year. Prior to that she worked with Bonnier Corp.’s Parenting Group as editorial director, digital content, strategy and design.

According to The Week, Fishman Feddersen will be tasked with overseeing The Week’s website redesign, as well as increasing MentalFloss.com’s traffic.

The Week Adds Senior Correspondent

The Week has added Michael Dougherty as a senior correspondent. Dougherty was previously The American Conservative’s national correspondent. He also served as Business Insider’s politics editor.

Dougherty has written for The New York Times Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, The Awl, The Daily Beast, Slate and more.

Dougherty’s appointment is effective January 20.

The Week Publications Adds Three to Sales Team

The Week Publications, parent of The Week and Mental Floss, have added three staffers to its sales team. Below are the details.

    • John Guehl rejoins the company as director of digital sales development. He previously served as an account director for The Week and TheWeek.com, from 2007 to 2012. Guehl most recently served as executive sales development director for Bon Appétit.
    • James Alfieri has been named Northeast director. Alfieri most recently managed almost half of The Economist’s top 20 corporate accounts.
    • Matt Estrada has been named Southwestern director. Estrada comes to The Week Publications from Say Media, where he served as a senior sales executive.

The Week Adds Two

More news from The Week today. The magazine has added two staffers. Details are below.

  • Damon Linker is joining TheWeek.com as a senior correspondent. Linker is a contributing editor for The New Republic and has served as a senior editor at Newsweek/The Daily Beast. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and more.
  • John Aziz has joined TheWeek.com as an economics and business correspondent. Aziz is a British economics writer whose work has appeared on Business Insider, Zero Hedge, Noahpinion and more.

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 Adds Two Sales Execs

Tim Koorbusch and Molly Bechert have rejoined The Week as executive VP of sales and VP of sales, respectively. Additionally, Tracy Monahan has been promoted to executive director of marketing.

Koorbusch previously worked for The Week as national ad director from 2008 to 2011. Most recently, he served as Say Media’s VP of sales.

Bechert last worked for The Week from 2007 to 2011. She most recently served as a senior sales executive for Viacom.

Monahan has been marketing director for The Week and Mental Floss for the past six months. Prior to joining the company, she served as Departures’ executive director of creative marketing.

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