Medium Poaches Vox Sales Exec to Build Nascent Ad Business

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A Medium publication on design.
A Medium publication on design.

Medium -- the publishing platform founded by the guys who started Twitter -- is getting more aggressive in its bid to attract brand advertising dollars. The site just raided digital publisher Vox Media, hiring Joe Purzycki, the company's head of ad sales, to lead brand partnerships at Medium.

That means Mr. Purzycki will essentially build Medium's nascent advertising business.

Medium, which lets anyone publish to the site, has hired journalists to curate sections on various topics -- including sports, tech and design -- which it calls publications. But Medium has mostly left brand partnerships to, a company that pairs brands with startups. helped land Medium's first ad campaign last summer in the form of a sponsored section for BMW. In December, the site rolled out a similar section for Marriott International.

Now Mr. Purzycki will oversee ad sales and brand partnerships for Medium.

"It's time to get more serious and strategic about bringing business in and being more proactive about how we do it," Edward Lichty, head of corporate development and strategy at Medium, told Ad Age. "It's an expansion."

Mr. Purzycki spent five years with Vox Media -- publisher of The Verge, SB Nation,, Polygon, Eater, Curbed and Racked -- where he helped build and grow the company's sales team. Last year, Vox generated about $55 million in revenue.

A direct replacement hasn't been named. Instead, Vox is spreading Mr. Purzycki's duties across a couple of business-side executives. That led to a handful of promotions at Vox. Mike Hadgis, who was in charge of Vox's national sales team, is now VP-revenue and partnerships. Lindsay Nelson, VP of Vox Creative, which helped create content for advertisers, was named global head of brand strategy.

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