The Atlantic, the 163-year-old publication that has grown below the stewardship of Laurene Powell Jobs, introduced on Thursday that it had chosen a brand new chief government after a yearlong search: Nicholas Thompson, the editor in chief of Wired, the tech-focused journal printed by Condé Nast.
It’s uncommon for a journalist to take cost of a media outlet’s enterprise operations, however Ms. Powell Jobs, whose Emerson Collective owns a majority stake in The Atlantic, and David G. Bradley, a minority proprietor, stated in a joint e mail to the employees that Mr. Thompson was suited to the problem.
“Nick is singular; we’ve seen nobody like him,” Ms. Powell Jobs and Mr. Bradley wrote. “As to main and supporting Atlantic technique, Nick brings a surround-sound protection of related expertise. Having been an editor, he’s dedicated to the undergirding tenets of our work — superior editorial requirements and full editorial independence.”
Mr. Thompson, 45, has spent 15 years working as a author and editor for Condé Nast publications, together with The New Yorker, the place he was the highest digital editor from 2012 to 2017. In an interview, he stated he had spoken with Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s editor in chief, concerning the publication’s future, together with a chat that passed off throughout a socially distanced assembly in Mr. Thompson’s Brooklyn yard one night this week.
“Nick is likely one of the nice innovators in journalism,” Mr. Goldberg stated in a press release, “and I’ve monumental confidence that he’ll information this firm to a brand new period of subscription and reader progress, technological creativity and enterprise success.”
The Atlantic’s seek for a chief government began final fall, after its former president, Bob Cohn, left the publication. It concerned two search companies and included a whole bunch of candidates. Mr. Thompson, who’s scheduled to begin as its chief government in February, and Mr. Goldberg, who has been the highest editor since 2016, will each report back to the publication’s board of administrators.
The incoming chief government stated he had learn The Atlantic whereas rising up close to Boston, the place the journal, based by New England thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, had its headquarters earlier than it moved to Washington within the years when Mr. Bradley was its sole proprietor.
Mr. Thompson, who turned the Wired editor in chief in 2017, famous that he had instituted digital pay partitions at The New Yorker and Wired throughout his tenures at these publications. “When you had been to ask me what am I most proud about from my time at The New Yorker,” he stated, “it’s serving to to arrange a pay wall that made The New Yorker’s future extra strong.”
In a 2019 article for Wired, Mr. Thompson argued that persuading readers to pay for articles was good for journalism, in addition to a publication’s possibilities at creating wealth. “When your online business is dependent upon subscriptions, your financial success is dependent upon publishing stuff your readers love — not simply stuff they click on,” he wrote. “It’s good to align one’s financial and editorial imperatives!”
Earlier than going into journalism, Mr. Thompson labored as a avenue musician in New York and launched three albums of acoustic guitar instrumentals. He’s additionally the creator of the 2009 guide “The Hawk and the Dove,” a twin biography of the distinguished Chilly Warfare figures George Kennan and Paul Nitze (who was Mr. Thompson’s maternal grandfather).
Throughout his time because the digital editor of The New Yorker, Mr. Thompson moonlighted as a media entrepreneur, serving to to discovered The Atavist, a digital journal and publishing firm that was later offered to the online writer Automattic.
As the highest editor of Wired — which obtained its begin in 1993 as a publication identified for its embrace of all issues tech — he led protection that was usually essential of the trade, together with a 2018 cowl piece, co-written by Mr. Thompson and Fred Vogelstein, on the turmoil inside Fb. The cowl picture was a photograph illustration of a bruised and battered Mark Zuckerberg.
“I needed to be overlaying tech within the smartest, fairest approach potential,” Mr. Thompson stated. “You don’t wish to be anti-tech for the sake of anti-tech.”
In his new function, Mr. Thompson stated, “there can be a line drawn” between The Atlantic’s enterprise operations and the journalists led by Mr. Goldberg. He added that he didn’t anticipate that he would report or write for some time.
The Atlantic began charging readers for on-line content material final fall, about two years after Ms. Powell Jobs’s philanthropic group, Emerson Collective, took a majority stake within the publication. With that change in technique, the venerable journal joined a wave of legacy media corporations which have sought to usher in extra income from digital subscribers than from advertisers.
Along with naming a brand new enterprise head on Thursday, The Atlantic introduced adjustments to its board of administrators. Ms. Powell Jobs will change into the chair in January. Mr. Bradley, the present chairman, will change into chairman emeritus whereas retaining his minority stake and stepping away from every day administration duties. The Atlantic may even add its first exterior director, Michelle Ebanks, the previous chief government of Essence Communications.
Since beginning its pay wall, The Atlantic has offered 400,000 new subscriptions. It now has greater than 700,000 print and digital subscribers, placing it on a tempo to realize its objective of getting a million by the top of 2022.
The Atlantic has met the coronavirus pandemic with noteworthy protection, together with articles by the employees author Ed Yong which have received awards from the Nationwide Press Membership Journalism Institute and the Council for the Development of Science Writing. However the publication’s enterprise has suffered within the pandemic’s financial fallout. The Atlantic laid off 68 staff within the spring, citing “a bracing decline in promoting” and successful to its live-events enterprise.