Blender Poaches Rolling Stone Exec Editor

Joe Levy Defects from Wenner to Alpha Media

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Joe Levy is defecting from Rolling Stone magazine, where he is executive editor, to take over as editor in chief at rival music mag Blender early next month.
Leaving Jann for Kent: Joe Levy
Leaving Jann for Kent: Joe Levy Credit: Joseph Moran

Wenner v. Brownridge
It's a dramatic poaching: Rolling Stone is part of Jann Wenner's Wenner Media, whose longtime No. 2, Kent Brownridge, "retired" two years ago only to return last summer atop the company that owns Blender. Mr. Brownridge and Mr. Wenner each insist that there's neither bad blood nor any particular competition between them -- but their music magazines simply can't steer clear of each other.

"Joe is the dean of today's magazine editors," Mr. Brownridge, CEO of Alpha Media Group, said in a statement. "He is well-known among his peers in the music industry, and beyond, for his passion and professionalism and I am thrilled to welcome him."

Mr. Levy joined Rolling Stone in 2001 and was named executive editor in 2006. He was previously senior editor at Details and before that held editorial positions at the Village Voice and Spin magazine. He succeeds Craig Marks, Blender's editor in chief since 2004.

Changes at Blender
Mr. Levy's appointment continues a streak of changes by the new ownership at Blender. Mr. Brownridge previously replaced its publisher with Ben Madden, the former publisher of Reader's Digest, and decided to raise the title's paid circulation.

Blender reported an average paid and verified circulation of 869,350 in the second half of 2007, up 16.8% from the second half of 2006, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Ad pages from last January through September came in 0.8% shy of their mark from the first nine months of the year before, the Publishers Information Bureau said.

Rolling Stone hasn't finished reporting its numbers for 2007, but reported average paid and verified circulation of 1.4 million in the first half of the year, up 0.9% from the first half a year earlier. Ad pages in the first nine months of 2007 dipped 6.5%, according to PIB.
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