Is The New Yorker lightening up? Today, the magazine announced the launch of a newly expanded online humor section that will include the weekly’s “Shouts & Murmurs” essays and a new “Daily Shouts” blog made up of exclusive content from New Yorker writers and contributors like Jack Handey and comedian Bob Odenkirk. But the centerpiece of the new section will be political comedian and writer Andy Borowitz’s blog, The Borowitz Report, which has found a new home on NewYorker.com.
Despite The New Yorker’s reputation for “excruciating fact-checking” (per Borowitz in his first post on the site), and the fact that the Report will now answer to editors, Borowitz assured Adweek that his blog content will remain unchanged. “My stories will be as slipshod and inaccurate as they always have been,” he said via email. New Yorker editor “David [Remnick]'s proposal to me was that I just take what I've been doing for eleven years and bring it over to The New Yorker…There won't be any references to Proust or Balzac.”
Since launching in 2001, the Borowitz Report has been successful as an independent site. So what convinced Borowitz, who began contributing humor pieces The New Yorker in 1998, to move his blog to the magazine’s website when Remnick approached him with the idea? “I've loved working for David, my editor Susan Morrison, and the whole gang,’” Borowitz emailed Adweek. “On a more pragmatic note, I thought this would be a chance to increase my audience. Today, my first two stories at NewYorker.com have been the two most-read on the site, and I've gotten thousands of new Twitter followers in just a few hours.”
Likewise, The New Yorker’s senior web editor Nicholas Thompson hopes that the acquisition will increase the site’s own readership. “There are certainly lots of people who read the Borowitz Report who aren't regular New Yorker readers," he said. "I hope they'll come, fall in love with the site and the magazine, and then subscribe.”
The launch of the humor section seems to be part of a larger expansion at NewYorker.com. Looking ahead, Thompson said, “there are several plans afoot” to grow the site with new verticals and blogs.