Master networker Jason Binn is giving up the CEO role at Niche Media, the city-specific magazine group he formed in 1998 with celebrity photo-splashed Ocean Drive and Hamptons magazines that cater to the rich and luxury advertisers.
Binn is moving into the role of chairman. COO Katherine Nicholls assumes the role of president. The CEO role won’t be filled.
Niche has felt the pinch of the recession as luxury advertisers have reduced spending. The company has laid off staffers, and in late 2008, it closed one of its monthlies, Atlanta Peach. Binn insisted today’s change wasn’t in response to a crisis, though, and that after a tough 2009, advertisers have been returning this year.
“The company is coming off its best year in the past three years,” Binn said. “It’s up over 15 percent in revenue year-to-date. It just seemed like a perfect time. It gives me the chance to look at [the company from] 30,000 feet and above.”
There’s been no lack of movement in the luxury media space lately. Earlier this year, publisher Modern Luxury was sold and its leadership ousted.
Binn’s former business partner and ex-Niche Media president Jerry Powers left after Niche consolidated under Greenspun Media Group, leaving Binn in control. Last month, Powers jumped to Plum TV, a luxury lifestyle TV network, which reportedly is working on plans to launch its own regional lifestyle magazines.
Follow Lucia Moses at Twitter.com/lmoses