Atlantic Changes Made Official

We reported it earlier this week, and today the Atlantic makes it official: The Atlantic (which is dropping the “monthly” is moving its D.C. sales and marketing staff to New York and is searching for a new publisher to replace Elizabeth Baker Keffer, who is stepping down.

We’ve got the staff memo after the jump…

To: All Atlantic Staff

From: John Galloway, Justin Smith, Elizabeth Baker Keffer

re: Relocating The Atlantic’s sales and marketing functions to NY

Across the last few days we have communicated a difficult message to our colleagues in the Atlantic advertising sales and marketing groups – the decision to relocate our advertising sales and marketing functions to New York City to operate closer to our advertising client base and integrate more fully into the advertising media community. We will also be hiring sales staff in Chicago and California to be closer to those markets. All other parts of The Atlantic operation based in DC will remain here.

While we have enjoyed good success across the last few years, we are always looking for ways to compete more effectively in the advertising marketplace. Shifting our sales and marketing departments to New York is a strategy designed to improve the productivity and efficiency of our sales efforts. The move will take place gradually across the first six months of 2008, but we are announcing it now to allow us to engage in conversations with our colleagues impacted by the decision.
This shift in geography will bring changes in roles and responsibilities due to the ties that some of us have with the DC area. Most notably, Elizabeth will remain in DC, shifting her talent and full-time attention toward our efforts to grow an industry-leading events business. The growth of our event partnerships and franchises has been our great business success of the last few years, and Elizabeth has been its primary architect. We are thrilled that she will be running this division going forward as its growth is central to our overall strategy for The Atlantic.

We have begun conversations with each individual on the sales and marketing teams to determine who might consider a move to New York, and what alternatives might be available here in DC within the Atlantic Media family. These conversations will inevitably take some time to resolve, but our hope is that many of our immensely talented staff will stay with us in one capacity or another in NY or Washington. At a minimum, the DC team will be in place through the end of March while others will remain in their positions through much of the second quarter as we gradually ramp up a NY-based operation.

We will clearly be looking to fill a number of positions in New York, starting with a publisher to lead the sales and marketing group. That search will start immediately and will be managed by a leading executive search firm. Other available NY-based positions will be posted internally.

The reaction to this news from the individuals affected has done nothing but reaffirm our respect and appreciation for their outstanding character, professionalism, and dedication to our common mission. We thank them, and you, for your continued support.