Afar Names Publisher, Plans Rate Base Hikes

A year since its launch into an economic headwind, experiential travel magazine Afar is shaking up its management again.
Afar had been without a publisher since January, when launch publisher John Sheehy left along with founding editor Susan West.
Now, the bimonthly is bringing in Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio as evp, publisher. Asmodeo-Giglio was launch publisher of The Wall Street Journal’s luxury lifestyle magazine WSJ. Earlier, she was svp, publisher of Travel & Leisure.
CEO/co-founder Greg Sullivan said he has no plans to bring on a new editor (a role he’s assumed himself) but Asmodeo-Giglio is building out her sales team with four new hires. In addition, Joe Diaz, Afar’s co-founder, was named vp, associate publisher.
Afar, which faced plenty of skepticism when it launched amid the economic downturn, seems to be finding its footing. Sullivan plans to raise the rate base to 100,000 with the March/April 2011 issue from 75,000 now and then to 125,000 next summer. He said Afar has been getting a mix of repeat and new business from marketers like HSBC and Volvo as advertisers show signs of spending again.
“People thought we were nuts,” he said of Afar’s launch. “People were shell-shocked. Nobody knew where the bottom was. People don’t feel like that anymore.”