The memo today from editorial director Janice Min starts with the news that August was The Hollywood Reporter‘s biggest Web traffic month yet. A total of 12.327 million unique visitors came to the site per comScore, putting the publication fourth in its category behind IMDb, EW and TV Guide.
From there, it’s on to the news of THR‘s latest wave of promotions and hires:
Kimberly Nordyke has been promoted to Deputy Editor, THR.com. In her new role beginning today, Kimberly will oversee our news operation in the morning hours, working with our New York and foreign reporters, as well as doing longer-term planning for the site and and the digital rollout of major print projects and packages. Kimberly, who most recently was senior editor, has been with The Hollywood Reporter since 2000. She joined the staff of the magazine as a copy editor before segueing into the position of TV reporter. She writes a mean headline without ever losing her cool, knows the industry inside-out, and I am thrilled she is bringing her 360-degree expertise to daytime.
Jennifer Laski has been promoted to Photo & Video Director. Since THR‘s re-launch Jennifer has overseen all of the photography and has developed and nurtured with Creative Director Shanti Marlar the sophisticated aesthetic for which we are now known and celebrated. Often a one-woman cheerleading squad, Jennifer also has been key in ushering in video into every aspect of The Hollywood Reporter‘s coverage of entertainment, from film festivals to covers to web series. Last year while producing more than 400 photo shoots, Jennifer also managed to create almost 200 original videos for thr.com, increasing both engagement and time-spent on our website. And she likely is the only person on staff to whom Aaron Paul has sung Happy Birthday.
Peter Cury has been promoted to Design Director. Peter has been a driving force for the design of the magazine since the re-launch. His excellent taste and expertise keep Shanti and the entire Hollywood Reporter staff in awe. He has proven himself again and again under tight deadlines. And with a cool head and the skills of a true story editor, he processes and visually expresses often complex material and numbers like no one else. (Fun fact: this is the second launch I’ve done with Peter; we worked on In Style Weddings together in 1999.)
Andy Lewis has been promoted to Books Editor. As is clear from our cover excerpting a controversial new book on Hollywood’s unseemly relationship with Hitler and the Nazis in the 1930s, Andy has a keen eye for the book excerpts that work for THR and that add another layer of depth to the magazine. He brought Lawrence Wright and his powerful work on Scientology to THR and worked closely with Wright to shape a riveting account of the organization’s involvement with Hollywood and celebrities. In addition to overseeing excerpts and coverage of book news, Andy will continue to display his multi-faceted interests in sports and pop culture.
Seth Abramovitch has been promoted to Senior Writer. Since joining THR in April 2012, Seth has written on a variety of topics, from Lana Wachowski breaking her silence about her gender change to the Blackwing cult pencil that is the favorite of many Hollywood writers (a story that spawned a certain studio chief to write him a personal fan letter). In addition to continuing to write in print and online, Seth will take over programming our new Inside Indie channel and our THR Movies channel, working with Gregg Kilday and our movies team, as well as new contributors to enhance and expand our coverage of film for a broader consumer audience.
Lesley Goldberg has been promoted to Senior Staff Writer. Lesley joined THR in 2003 as a copy editor. Since being promoted to staff writer in 2010, she has covered television development, pilot season and broken countless exclusives and is one of the most aggressive and accomplished reporters on the beat. In addition to writing breaking news and small-screen trend pieces, she has produced recent big wins that include exclusive news of Sandra Oh‘s upcoming Grey’s Anatomy exit and the first confirmation of the death of Glee star Cory Monteith. She may also set the record for fastest response time on email.
Michelle Mondragon has been promoted to Art Production Manager. She has been leading the art production team for over a year and a half. She is a master of quality control and ensures that every page in the magazine or on the iPad are flawless. Michelle has helped to finesse and improve our workflow and templates for both platforms. She helped to launch the iPad and has been instrumental in making sure all of the pages are clean and functional. She dots the i’s and crosses the t’s.
Victor Klaus, a mainstay of our video efforts in recent years, has been promoted to Lead Video Editor, reporting to Jennifer Laski. When he’s not changing the diapers of his newborn Jacob Avery, Victor will be working alongside the other editors to edit 10 Oscar Roundtables this season as well as several new exciting projects that THR.com has planned for this year.
Tess Gomet joins us as Senior Video Editor. She will work closely with Jennifer Laski and Video Producer Stephanie Fischette to create new concepts for video projects as well as work on videos for Pret-A-Reporter.com. Tess’s past clients include Loreal, Opi, Canal Plus, French Vogue, Dior, Chanel and Amfar.
Brian Rovanpera officially comes on staff as Video Editor. Brian handles a lot of our events, shooting and editing from the red carpet and inside parties. Brian and the team will be traveling to the Sundance Film Festival in January to shoot and edit videos of all the talent and filmmakers from Main Street in Park City. In addition to THR, Brian has freelanced for Billboard, Backstage and Young Hollywood.
And lastly, in the They’re-Already-Familiar-Faces -But–to-Make-it-Official category, please learn a little more:
Dan Strauss, a former Fox Digital executive and Endplay chief product officer, has been named general manager of digital at THR. In his new role, Dan is responsible for our existing and rapidly expanding slate of digital initiatives and new digital products, including the brand’s websites, video strategy, blogs, social media, e-mail marketing campaigns, mobile apps and iPad edition. Dan also will be responsible for digital product development, design and partnership creation, and for establishing and implementing key digital metrics and processes that will drive audience expansion and revenue growth through enhanced advertising partnerships and programs. Prior to his tenure at Endplay, Dan was co-founder and chief product officer of Shopflick, where he was responsible for leading product innovation and technical development. He spent five years at Fox Interactive Media, where he served as the GM/vp of Fox Interactive Media Labs and was the director of production and operations at Fox Sports Interactive. Earlier in his career, Dan worked in a variety of internet startups and publishing companies’ interactive divisions, including the New York Times, Thought Bubble Productions, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Miami University in Ohio, has two pugs with his wife Stacey, whom he married on 10/10/10, and has never had a cavity.
Alexandria Abramian, a veteran home design editor, has come on board as THR‘s homes and lifestyle editor where she already has broken a slew of news (including the plans for Thomas Tull‘s new compound) and generated fascinating features. In her new role, Alexandria leads our extensive coverage of Hollywood-related interior design, home lifestyle and real estate for all of The Hollywood Reporter’s print and digital platforms. One of Alexandria’s first initiatives at THR will be the launch of a blog dedicated to home design and real estate, with a spotlight on the convergence of design and entertainment. As homes and lifestyle editor, she will oversee THR’s upcoming annual home design issue, which hits stands October 23. Alexandria, who has been a journalist and magazine editor for the past 15 years, joins THR from OCHome, where she was editor-in-chief. She was editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury’s Angeleno magazine for five years before becoming the company’s founding editor of its Interiors publications, which launched in four U.S. cities.
Rett Alcott has joined The Hollywood Reporter as Interactive Art Director, overseeing design on the THR website and mobile devices. Rett comes to us from Luxury Link where, as Creative Director, he led the creative team for design and usability of the Luxury Link Travel Group websites. Prior to that he served as Director of Design at Blue Waters Research, and was a freelance Interactive Art Director for a variety of companies before that. Adding to our growing ranks of Midwestern transplants, Rett graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Digital Design.
And finally, a note about a new contributor to the site and, occasionally, the magazine, Graeme McMillan. Graeme has joined the genre-centric Heat Vision —started by senior film reporter Borys Kit — as a regular contributor with a very clear mission: Helping transform it into a pop-culture hub of discussion as well as the destination for exclusive scoops and breaking news of the nerd variety. A self-diagnosed nerd, Graeme whelped launch pioneering sci-fi blog io9.com, and has covered general geek culture for Time.com and Wired.com; and comic book culture for Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and Comics Alliance.