Corner Office: Q&A With Wired Publisher Howard Mittman
Wired has been on a bit of a run. Depending on how you look at it, that run may have started back at its launch in 1993, when its founders, Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, decided to chronicle the ideas and innovations shaping the digital age and changing the world. Or you could argue that that run started with Howard Mittman, who came on board in 2006 as associate publisher and who has served as vice president and publisher of Wired since 2009.
Mittman has also played a big role in the expansion of the brand's digital business: In 2012, Wired became one of the first magazine brands to derive 50% of advertising revenue from its digital offerings. The Wired tablet app, launched in 2010, is often ranked at the top of best-tablet lists. And as a feather in his cap, Wired was named the first ever Magazine of the Decade by Adweek Media.
But don't refer to Wired as just a magazine. "We don't think of ourselves as a magazine," says Mittman. "When you have a robust video business, and an amazing website, and an incredibly strong mobile business, a tablet business, a massive social media footprint and a robust event business, you become a lot more than just a traditional magazine. I think of ourselves as a horizontal organization that tends to provide compelling, interesting content wherever our community happens to be."
Here Mittman discusses how the Wired he's helped take to great heights is the fulfillment of the multifaceted media brand its founders originally envisioned.
How have you been able to successfully build Wired into a multi-channel media brand?
Wired was born as a magazine and a website on the same day, so integration is born into our culture. The original mission of Wired was for it to be an event company, a design firm, a full-scale content provider, a video studio. We were to be much more than a just a magazine with a website, and I think right now today we're closer to fulfilling that original founder's mission than any time over the 20-year history of Wired.
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Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.