That was quick.
Dave Haskell, who has been an editor at New York Magazine since 2007, is succeeding longtime editor in chief Adam Moss, who revealed Tuesday that he is leaving the magazine after 15 years at the helm.
“For almost 12 years, New York Magazine has been my family, Adam my mentor and friend, and the work we publish my favorite to read,” Haskell wrote in a statement. “It’s hard to imagine New York without Adam, but at the same time, his fingerprints are all over this place — and he is leaving us having built the finest editorial department in our 50-year history. We are living through an extraordinary time in American life, one eerily well suited to New York’s strengths and obsessions. It’s now my job to make sure we cover it all with the intelligence and creativity our readers have come to expect.”
As for picking Haskell as the next editor in chief — other internal candidates such as Stella Bugbee and Ben Williams were speculated as contenders, too — New York Media chief executive officer Pamela Wasserstein, whose late father bought the publication in 2003, said “it was quickly apparent to me that David should be the person to succeed [Moss].”
“He is a brilliant editor, boundlessly creative, and always inventive in the service of our journalism,” Wasserstein said. “We have worked closely together, particularly in the last two years, when he has helped us to establish new business ventures that build on our legacy in exciting ways.”
In a note to staff, Wasserstein noted Haskell’s “tremendous leadership abilities,” his hand in editing nearly 300 features over the years and many editorial packages, as well as much of New York’s long-form political content. She also pointed out his role in New York’s more recent focus on expanding popular verticals, The Strategist and The Cut, as well as driving a number of third-party collaborations, a book deal with Simon & Schuster and a bigger foray into TV and film projects.
“Since many of you have already collaborated with David, you have probably experienced firsthand his strategic mind as well as his creative output,” Wasserstein wrote. “I am certain that David will treat the mantle he inherits with appropriate reverence as he extends our ethos of experimentation and invention into the future. He will find fantastic new ways to innovate, and I am personally thrilled to partner with him on our next chapter.”
Moss also lauded Haskell, whom he first brought in 12 years ago to guest edit a special issue on London, calling him a “superb editor with wide-ranging curiosity, unerring taste, reverence for talent and mastery at making magazines.”
“Especially useful at this juncture, he is also a natural and proven entrepreneur and he will be a perfect partner to Pam Wasserstein going forward,” Moss added in a statement. “I have known David his entire career and I am confident New York Media’s creative future across multiple arenas is in excellent hands.”
Indeed, Haskell has spent essentially his entire editorial career at New York, starting off as a guest editor, before quickly becoming deputy editor under Moss and most recently editor for business and strategy — a title Wasserstein admitted in her staff memo is “clunky” but described his “unusual” role. Before joining New York, he edited a magazine that he founded while at University of Cambridge, where he studied after graduating from Yale, but that is his only magazine prior. He is about to turn 40, which makes him a few years younger that Moss was when he took up the editor in chief role in 2004.
Youth and an apparent willingness to get into the nitty-gritty of a new age of revenue demands in digital media will surely work in Haskell’s favor as he settles in to the new leadership position at a time when New York is going through its share of changes (a first-time paywall online; more verticals for more traffic and ad opportunities; a general sense of upheaval in digital media), with more thought to be on the way. Moss’ exit reignited a lot of chatter about Wasserstein and her plans for New York going forward, with sources citing an outright sale as still being a possibility, along with bringing in a new financial stakeholder.
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