The New Yorker has grown from a weekly print publication into an online powerhouse, with a website publishing fifteen new stories a day, a radio show, videos and more. The NewYorker.com tallied a record 19.9 million unique visits in July, a 35 percent jump over the previous year. The readership grew similarly between 2014 and 2015.

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, NewYorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson joins COA Dean of Institutional Advancement Lynn Boulger to discuss the magazine, the website, the future of media, and more. The event begins at 9 a.m. in Deering Common Community Center, and is free and open to the public. It is the last Coffee and Conversation salon of the 2016 summer season.

Thompson cites a robust mix of content as part of his formula for success, with subjects ranging from the humorous, to the political, to television criticism, literature, and everything in between. Original video series are also a strong part of their editorial offerings, accounting for a 112 percent rise in video views year-to-year.

Thompson has been editor of the NewYorker.com since 2012, during which time the number of readers has more than quintupled. He is also a contributor for CBS News, a technology contributor at CNN International, and a co-founder of The Atavist, a software company and digital magazine whose investors include Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Andreessen-Horowitz, IAC, and The Founder’s Fund. His book, “The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War,” was published in 2009 and hailed as “brilliant” by The Washington Post and “brimming with fascinating revelations” by The New York Times. The Washington Times said it “may be the most important political biography in recent memory.”

Thompson and Boulger will discuss how The New Yorker has tried to keep up its standards for quality, even at this faster speed, and he’ll talk about how The New Yorker thinks about the future of media. Where will the readers of the future find the magazine’s stories? Will it just be on Snapchat and Facebook, or will it always be in print too? With so many publications failing, or faltering, financially, what is the New Yorker’s business strategy?

In addition, Thompson will talk about how the magazine is covering the election and how it covered the recent Olympics—during which Thompson kept up a continuous dialogue about track and field on the Website with New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell. And he’ll speak briefly about his grandfather, Paul Nitze, the American arms negotiator, about whom he published a book and who dealt with some of the great crises of this century—most notable the Berlin Wall crisis—from the home in Northeast Harbor where Thompson will be staying.

Prior to his current position, Thompson was a senior editor at The New Yorker. He has also been a senior editor at Wired, a senior editor at Legal Affairs and an editor at the Washington Monthly. Stories that he has edited and assigned have won many major awards and been made into films—including Ben Affleck’s Argo.

Thompson has written about politics, technology, and the law for numerous publications, and he is currently a senior fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. His favorite recent piece was probably this one on Svetlana Stalin. He has appeared multiple times on every major cable and broadcast news network. He writes regularly about technology for The New Yorker’s web site, and he has given public speeches on topics ranging from the future of narrative journalism and the way computers are changing our minds to the role of technology in political revolutions to nuclear deterrence and doomsday machines. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Young Leaders Council on The National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and a Whitehead Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association.

 


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