Where do travel magazines fit in the digital age, when airfares and city guides are just a Google search away? Condé Nast Traveler (No. 3 on Ad Age's 2014 Magazine A-List) is proving their place, with Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzmán delivering service along with inspiration. She has been on the job since August 2013, when Condé Nast Artistic Director Anna Wintour plucked her from Martha Stewart Living. The redesign Ms. Guzmán oversaw was masterful -- a renaissance of magazine-making with stunning photography and rich, descriptive articles.
The trick is to find writers and photographers outside travel, she explained. "If you engage a new crop of people who aren't steeped in travel journalism, you see a place with a fresh lens," she said. "At a certain point everyone starts to phone it in. I'm constantly switching people's beats. If you're not comfortable on a beat, you will attack it with a vengeance."
The same might be said of Ms. Guzmán, who was top editor at Condé Nast's now defunct mom magazine Cookie, a sharp read even for non-parents. Later, Martha Stewart Living earned a National Magazine Award under her leadership.
At Traveler, Ms. Guzmán shows a discerning journalistic and aesthetic eye. "The ultimate badge of honor for the well-traveled is a kind of confidence," Ms. Guzmán said. "You don't want to feel like the ugly American. You want to feel like you know what you're doing."