Time.com has made another round of hires and pushed back the target date of its long-anticipated relaunch.
The hires—announced by Nancy Gibbs and Edward Felsenthal, managing editors, respectively, of Time and Time.com—are:
—Nikhil Kumar, who was named senior editor, Time International, and joins Time from The Independent;
—Dan Stewart, a former senior editor of The Week, who was named deputy editor on Time’s continuous news desk;
—Sam Lansky, formerly of SpinMedia, who was hired as deputy culture editor;
—Sam Frizell, who has written for Reuters and The Atlantic, was named breaking news reporter.
Gibbs and Felsenthal also used the hiring announcement to tick off some recent accomplishments. The site broke a record in December, hitting 45.5 million uniques (per Omniture), up from 28 million in March, when it began the revamp. Video streams are up 800 percent on the same basis. Top traffic drivers in December included Time's Person of the Year, the Duck Dynasty coverage and Steven Brill’s Bitter Pill column.
The site relaunch was originally slated for fall 2013, but has hit a number of delays. Late last year, a spokeswoman said January was the target. Now, it’s looking more like February, as a rep said today that the new Time.com was expected to go live “in the next four weeks.”
The relaunch is being closely watched, not least because it involves Time Inc.’s flagship brand. The brand is under new editorial leadership and has made a significant investment in new staff to support the new site (today's hires brings the total to more than 30). Perceived as lagging other major online news sites, the redo is a chance for Time Inc. to demonstrate its digital expertise as it prepares to spin off as an independent company later this year.