Esquire has moved Michael Sebastian to the role of site director.
Sebastian, who had served as news director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, assumes the role from Steve Kandell, who, according to an insider, was let go from the company after four months on the job. Kandell had moved from Buzzfeed to run Esquire.com in late January.
In his new role, Sebastian will oversee content and editorial operations for Esquire.com, including video and social media. Hearst separates its print and digital teams and thus Sebastian will report to Kate Lewis, HMDM senior vice president and editorial director. In Sebastian’s previous gig, he managed the company’s news desk, which consisted of assigning and covering viral and breaking news stories across Hearst’s digital titles. Before that, he was a media reporter at Ad Age.
“For the past two years, Michael has been managing a diverse, international team in the newsroom to great success, breaking stories on demonstrations at the Republican National Convention and the women of ISIS that have exploded across our sites. Under his leadership, the newsroom has tripled the traffic it generates, added an office in the U.K., and built up a news video group,” Lewis said. “He possesses both ambition and a thirst to innovate that sets him up well for Esquire.com. Michael understands the Esquire brand and its audience and he and his team will elevate the content experience for the millions of men around the world who want the latest in culture, news, politics, style, food and drink, all filtered through Esquire’s unique attitude and point-of-view.”
Kate Storey, who works on that team as senior features editor, has been promoted to news director.
“Kate is a deft writer and editor with an innate understanding of the stories that will resonate with our audience,” said Lewis. “Under her leadership, the Newsroom will continue to flourish, ramping up the tremendous momentum we’ve experienced over the past two years.”
Additionally, Esquire.com social media editor Ben Boskovich has been promoted to managing editor of the site. He will report to Sebastian. HMDM senior news director Megan Friedman has been elevated to deputy news editor of the newsroom, reporting to Storey.
The changes at Esquire.com follow a broader reshuffle earlier this year when Hearst Men’s Group Digital Director of Content Michael Mraz moved to the business side as Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships.