Wired’s longtime editor in chief Scott Dadich is out at Condé Nast, where he spent 11 years.
Once viewed as a kind of digital golden child at the company, Dadich, who helmed Wired for four years and served as Condé’s vice president, editorial platforms and design, before that, will start his own strategy and design firm with Patrick Godfrey, dubbed Godfrey Dadich Partners. (Godfrey is the chief executive officer and founder of Godfrey Q, an advertising and strategy firm whose clients include Dolby, Intel, Splunk, NetApp, Symantec, Veritas — and Wired). As a result of the new venture, the existing Godfrey Q organization will transition to Godfrey Dadich Partners on Feb. 1.
At Wired, Dadich will be succeeded by Nicholas Thompson, the editor of Newyorker.com. The move marks a return to the magazine for Thompson, who served as a senior editor from 2005 to 2010 before he joined The New Yorker. Thompson will start his new job on Jan. 30 and relocate to Wired’s editorial headquarters in San Francisco.
Condé Nast said New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick is in the process of looking for Thompson’s successor, but would not comment further on Dadich’s departure. While Condé Nast is in the process of reorganizing the company and cutting costs, sources told WWD that Dadich has been looking to pursue other opportunities.
It is believed that the editor did not seek a new contract, but it could not be determined if one was offered. Either way, the editor had his next move in motion in time for the announcement — perhaps he saw the writing on the wall at Condé Nast or he realized there were big bucks to be made in Silicon Valley. Recently, Wired’s creative director Billy Sorrentino left the magazine to join Apple’s design team.
“No one can see the future, but I know I’m happiest when I’m chasing it — that’s why I’ve loved creating a new Wired every single day,” Dadich said via his Instagram account. “Covering the worlds of business and technology, however valuable, is watching from the sidelines. I felt it was time to get in the game with my own company.”
In his new job, Thompson will oversee Wired’s editorial content and is charged with expanding the brand’s digital and video presence across all platforms and formats, and furthering the reach of Wired’s tech authority. Additionally, he will work closely with Kim Kelleher, the brand’s chief revenue officer and publisher, on business innovations and brand extensions, including new consumer experiences and products at Condé Nast.
“Nick is an accomplished editor, and his leadership at The New Yorker speaks for itself — he helped expand their digital, video and social presence and significantly grew their audience, especially among younger readers,” said Anna Wintour, Condé Nast artistic director. “Nick’s return to Wired, combined with his impeccable journalistic skills, will give the Wired team a tremendous advantage in covering the world of technology.”
For his part, Thompson offered: “Wired focuses on one of the most important issues in the world: how technology is changing our lives. I couldn’t be more excited to return, engage with the readers, and work to add to Wired’s extraordinary history of reporting, storytelling and design.”
The choice of Thompson was perhaps an easy one. After all, Wired.com and The New Yorker’s site usually pull some of the best web traffic at Condé Nast. From November 2015 to November 2016, ComScore said Wired averaged 11.1 million unique visitors, hitting a peak in October with 15.6 million views. For the same period, The New Yorker averaged 13.2 million uniques and it posted a high of 20.3 million visitors in November, due to its strong election coverage, which was buttressed by Remnick’s editorial, “An American Tradgedy,” and his interview with President Obama.
In print, The New Yorker’s total paid & verified circulation totaled just over 1 million with total single-copy sales amounting to 18,164 for the six months ended June 30, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. A year earlier, the weekly magazine’s circulation was flat, but total single-copy sales were 31,493. At Wired, total circulation was 870,101, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier, as total single copy sales for the monthly equaled 21,678, marking a 51.4 percent drop from a year earlier.
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No one can see the future, but I know I'm happiest when I'm chasing it—that’s why I've loved creating a new WIRED every single day. I’ve worked with founders and CEOs, visionary directors and artists, a fugitive whistleblower holed up in Moscow, even a POTUS. But more than that, it was the @WIRED team—the smartest editors, writers, designers, creatives, and thinkers on the planet—that made my years here the most professionally and personally rewarding of my life. Thank you, friends and colleagues, for the support you've shown WIRED and me as together we've worked to uphold the legacy of our founders—always pushing to break new ground. But covering business, design, and technology as a journalist, however valuable, still means watching from the sidelines. I have felt for some time it was time to get in the game. So, after 11 award-winning years at Condé Nast—serving as WIRED’s Editor in Chief as well as Creative Director—I am thrilled to announce the founding of Godfrey Dadich Partners ( @godfreydadich ) a strategy, design, and content firm headquartered in San Francisco. I’m joining forces with my friend Patrick Godfrey, one of the most exceptional business minds working today, to help a diverse group of leaders and companies thrive in a world of constant transformation. From our earliest conversations, Patrick and I agreed on a core set of principles: we will help clients define their organizational strategy; we will design deeply impactful experiences; and we will develop content so mesmerizing it will drive profound engagement. We believe GDP will offer clients a compelling combination—Patrick’s skills as a re-imaginer of worlds and my deep passion as a storyteller and designer. ( 📸 @joepug )