What Magazines Want Today

Angling for an editor job at a magazine? Folio: asked two magazine bigwigs to explain what qualities would get you a job at their properties.

The best thing you can do? Have an open mind.

Shannon Wong, editor-in-chief of Fitness, told Folio: that it’s important her hires “are as excited about creating content for the digital properties at Fitness as they are about getting a byline in the magazine.” And Dan Shannon, publisher of Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine, said that editors shouldn’t do things “the old way,” with a big wall between editorial and advertising. “I insist that editors, salespeople and operations staff interact constantly. They share ideas, critique story choices and layouts and have a cup of coffee together. When we bump into a virtual or metaphorical wall in our company, we try to tear it down,” he said.

Beyond versatility, what else are bosses looking for these days? According to Wong, passion is crucial (“Even if…you end up covering a subject that bores you”) as is “roll-up-your-sleeves pluck and persistence.” Editors need to be the ones calling the shots even on things beyond the magazine, she said. That includes apps, mobile products, and even events. “Editors know their readers better than any developer or HTML coder ever could,” she said.

Sound tough? Yeah, it’s getting tougher every day to be an editor, it seems. Your skillset needs to be continually improving. Keep your head up, though. We’re here for you.