There’s been a change at the top of The Week, Felix Dennis’ small but well-regarded news digest. Men’s Journal publisher Michael Wolfe is leaving Wenner Media for the same position at The Week. He replaces Jessica Sibley, who’s leaving the company after a year and a half in the job.
Wolfe will take over sales for The Week as well as Mental Floss, a trivia magazine Dennis bought last year. The move comes as The Week increases its rate base to 525,000 this year from 510,000 and turns its attention to growing its digital presence, preparing to launch its first iPad app in February.
“Men’s Journal is on a roll; we’ve managed to grow our business,” Wolfe said. “But The Week is one of those unbelievably unique properties. The opportunity to lead that brand while it’s still in its growth mode is really, really exciting.”
Running a bare-bones newsweekly is a big switch for Wolfe, whose experience of the past decade has been mostly at glossy lifestyle monthlies like GQ and the since-folded BestLife in addition to Men’s Journal (with a brief stint at Rolling Stone in between).
Steven Kotok, president of The Week and chief executive of Mental Floss, said he saw in Wolfe the ability to understand advertisers’ needs.
“We think he’s a great fit for where we want to take our business,” Kotok said. “Michael—his skills and talent and intellect are what stood out. These days, it’s less about contacts. It’s about being able to creatively understand what your advertisers want.”
Wolfe’s departure means another top leadership change at Men’s Journal, a title where Jann Wenner has been known to frequently replace the publisher and top editor. Under Wolfe, the title increased ad pages 3.5 percent to 863 in 2012 and launched its first pop-up shop. There's no word from Wenner yet on a replacement.