Air Mail, Carter’s digital news weekly launched in July 2019 is “the weekend edition of a nonexistent international daily.” It has both a strong paywall and robust advertising : So how does Graydon Carter do it?
Graydon Carter, the award-winning 25-year editor of Vanity Fair and founder of the iconic Spy Magazine has been a leader in popular cultural editing and reporting for a long time. Of late he founded and co-edits Air Mail — which is completely digital and according to the company, brings you “news and culture at a civilized pace” covering “with sophistication, authority and wit” a wide range of subjects from politics to business, to arts, to food to society and crime.
Carter’s Air Mail business model is similar to many digital publications with multiple revenue streams, including direct-to-consumer retail. Editorially it is a mix of original reporting and republished curated stories. The special sauce, according to one media critic, comes from Carter’s fantastic publishing instincts, its “magnetic pull” and compelling design.
We will discuss with Carter how he leads this relatively small and creative media enterprise differently than he led as Editor of Vanity Fair. Who is the audience that Air Mail is targeting and how are they finding them? What are the ways the company is growing? How has it expanded advertising, subscriptions and merchandise sales? When staffing, how is it different for a small company versus a large organization like Conde Nast? What has been Carter’s priorities during the first 2 years and how they are changing?
Media Guru events are well-known for their “no speeches, no Power Point” promise: Just compelling one-on-one conversation with a fascinating personality making news in the media business, followed by Q+A.
Participants must register by NOON on May 17th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued. THIS EVENT WILL NOT BE RECORDED
Co-editor & Founder, Air Mail
Graydon Carter is the founder and co-editor of Air Mail, called “a digital weekly for the world traveler.” He was editor of Vanity Fair from July 1992 to January 2018. Under Carter, Vanity Fair won 14 National Magazine Awards, including two for General Excellence. Carter founded Spy magazine in 1986 with Kurt Andersen and Tom Phillips. He worked as a staff writer for Time, where he covered business, law, and entertainment for five years before joining Life as a staff writer in 1983. Prior to joining Vanity Fair, he was the editor of The New York Observer. Carter has also written or co-edited 10 books and produced 8 documentaries.
Principal, Quantum Media
Ava Seave, MBA ’82, is a Principal of Quantum Media, a consulting firm focused on strategy and marketing for media, information and entertainment companies. At Quantum Media, she leads consulting engagements for media companies and nonprofit organizations. She co-founded Quantum Media in 1998. Seave is also an Adjunct at Columbia Business School and Columbia Journalism School.
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