Interview Magazine has brought in Jason Nikic as chief revenue officer.
Nikic replaces former publisher Dan Ragone, who departed for Maxim earlier this year. Nikic, who most recently served as associate publisher at Hearst’s Car and Driver and Road & Track, may seem, at first blush, an odd choice for the role.
Interview president Kelly Brant agreed but also explained that Nikic would bring a much-needed digital vision to the lifestyle- and pop-culture-centric publication.
Brant told WWD that over the past few months, she met with a “large number” of candidates, many of whom had “the obvious” fashion-centric backgrounds.
“We didn’t want to hire someone based on the relationships, but their strategic vision,” Brant noted. “Jason had excitement for where the industry is heading instead of nostalgia [for the past].”
She offered that his career at Hearst and The Atlantic, where he served as integrated sales director, gave him a “digital savvy” that Interview is seeking as it makes bolder moves this year to monetize its web site. Currently, Brant said Interview has about 650,000 unique visitors a month, which, while small, has been “fully organic.” She explained that means the company hasn’t hired a team focused on expanding its web traffic, per se — which is where Nikic comes in.
Nikic, who will report to Brant when he starts today, will be responsible for advertising sales, marketing and driving revenue across all of Interview’s current channels — from print and digital to social and events. He will also develop new products and revenue streams and work to build a team with a digital-first mind-set.
For his part, Nikic offered: “I couldn’t be more honored to share in the responsibility in making sure that Interview continues to thrive. That I share this responsibility with an editorial team that’s eager to find new ways to converse with their readers and users gives me the confidence that we will be able to present our partners with increasingly more innovative platforms to participate in this conversation.”
Nikic’s hire comes at an important time for the 47-year-old magazine. Founded in 1969 by Andy Warhol, Interview carries a circulation of approximately 220,000 at a time when print readership is waning. With a lean staff and tight budgets, Interview, like its competitors, must grow new revenue streams in order to thrive in today’s volatile media environment.