At the end of an otherwise ponderous event that the Atlantic hosted today at NYU on the coverage of celebrities (“Paris Hilton and Britney Spears–do they represent a new form of artist?” asked David Samuels, the moderator) Media Mob was tipped off to a little news: The magazine has hired a new publisher.
Justin Smith, the president of the Atlantic, has a new right-hand man. He’s Jay Lauf, the publisher of Wired since 2006. The release boasts that he was “recruited” from the Conde Nast magazine; in January, David Carey was named a group president of Conde Nast and Wired was one of the magazines he began to oversee.
Mr. Lauf, who will assume the role of vice president and publisher, will work out of the magazine’s newly relocated sales offices in the city.
Here’s the full release, which was just sent to us:
Washington, DC (March 26, 2008) – In a major advance of its strategic initiatives, The Atlantic has named Jay Lauf VP – Publisher. Recruited from Conde Nast’s Wired magazine—where he was publisher since 2006—Lauf will oversee sales and marketing efforts for the acclaimed publication. The announcement follows the 150 year-old title’s recent relocation of its sales and marketing operations to New York City. The Atlantic’s outgoing Publisher, Elizabeth Baker Keffer, will remain in Washington DC and assume leadership of Atlantic Live, The Atlantic’s high-growth event business which includes the Aspen Ideas Festival and The Atlantic’s signature salon dinner event series.
Lauf had been with Wired since 2001, serving progressively as advertising director, associate publisher and publisher. During his tenure with Wired, Lauf was instrumental in the title’s reinvigoration following 2001’s dot-com collapse.
“The Atlantic is entering a new era as it broadens its well regarded opinion and analysis into new media and markets. The growth of our print and digital properties has opened up many doors for connecting readers with advertisers, and Jay has the right talents to maximize those opportunities,” said Justin B. Smith, president of Atlantic Consumer Media. “Jay has unique experience revitalizing an iconic publishing brand. We welcome his leadership and expertise as we expand our reach.”
“I am thrilled to be joining this esteemed brand at such an exciting time in its history,” said Jay Lauf. “The opportunity to expand The Atlantic’s acclaimed print product and further build its powerhouse digital presence is a unique opportunity in media today.”
At Wired, Lauf secured such accolades as a place on Adweek’s Hot List as well as distinctions including the Conde Nast Gold Award and MIN Award for Best Integrated Marketing Program. Among the initiatives he championed were the Wired NextFest, a mini-World’s Fair that has been staged annually around the country, as well as the Wired Store, an annual holiday shopping destination for tech enthusiasts, and the Wired Home, which serves as an example of how people can effectively balance green living with high technology and high design.
Previously, Lauf was an ad director on the U.S. launch of T3: Tomorrow’s Technology Today. Prior to that he was national ad director for Customer Interaction Solutions, a technology trade magazine, and publisher of The Merchandiser Group, a group of trade magazines, websites and trade shows for the independent retailers’ industry.
A graduate of Connecticut College, Lauf also studied English Literature and Law at Durham University in the United Kingdom.
Since it was founded 150 years ago, The Atlantic has helped shape the national debate on the most critical and contentious issues of our times, from politics, business, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic’s parent enterprise, Atlantic Media Company, is a Washington, D.C. based publishing company whose flagship properties include The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive. With more than 3 million readers among the ranks of business, politics, government and academia, the publishing properties of Atlantic Media enjoy a prestigious reputation, acquired through 150 years of publishing top-quality American literature and journalism.