Domino Poaches Refinery29 Exec Nathan Coyle to Be CEO

Former Condé Nast Brand Declares Business Profitable

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New Domino CEO Nathan Coyle.
New Domino CEO Nathan Coyle. Credit: Domino Media Group
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Domino, which began in the mid-aughts as a home décor magazine from Condé Nast and closed at the end of the decade and returned in 2013, is still in the process of reinventing itself as a blend of e-commerce, old-fashioned print, and digital media.

On Monday, Domino announced the appointment of Nathan Coyle, who joined late last month as chief executive and will be asked to move forward the company's digital strategy. Mr. Coyle was hired away from Refinery29, the female-focused digital media company, where he served as exec VP and general manager.

As CEO, Mr. Coyle succeeds Cliff Sirlin, co-founder of Domino Media Group, who has joined the company's board of directors. Mr. Sirlin and Condé Nast are among the investors in the new Domino.

Mr. Coyle, on vacation in Greece, spoke to Ad Age about why he decided to leave one of the hottest brands in digital media for a new opportunity.

"I really think the brand and the power of the brand is what's going to separate the winners from losers," he said, plugging the value of Domino's brand in a hotly contested media landscape.

Domino is profitable, a spokesman told Ad Age, which already sets it apart from many competitors. The company is projected to bring in $12 million in revenue this year, a chunk of which comes from its e-commerce business, which brings in about $230,000 in revenue each month. Domino also makes money from advertising as well as newsstand and subscription sales of its revived, quarterly magazine.

Domino.com brought in 1.27 million U.S. multiplatform unique visitors in May, according to ComScore data.

Condé Nast still distributes Domino's magazine, which has a circulation in the six figures -- the company wouldn't give an exact figure. "In a world where in the print business 'stable' is like the new 'growth' ... we've actually had a nice, modest, but steady growth since the magazine re-launched," Mr. Coyle said.

Domino is slated to move into a new office in Manhattan's Midtown West on July 25, replete with a "full video production studio" -- though Mr. Coyle said video will become a bigger focus next year. About 40 people work for Domino, when factoring in both full-time employees and contractors.

Domino, which has retained a focus on home décor and accessories, could branch into new, adjacent content areas, such as food, entertainment, weddings, health and wellness, Mr. Coyle said. Online, it's pretty easy to start a new vertical, and all of those topic areas lend themselves to the melding of content and commerce that has been at the root of Domino 2.0.

"There's an incredible conversion between the content side of the business and the commerce side of the business," Mr. Coyle said. Addressing the Domino he is inheriting, he said, "There's a solid foundation there, but there's room for jet-fueled growth."