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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

New York is a weekly magazine and daily website that primarily cover the culture and politics of New York City.

Founded in 1968 by Clay Felker and Milton Glaser as a competitor to The New Yorker, and known for its witty and often irreverent writing style, the magazine quickly established itself as a cradle of the New Journalism movement. Its roots were in the Sunday magazine of the New York Herald Tribune, begun in 1963; the magazine survived the newspaper’s closing in 1966. In 1976, Rupert Murdoch bought the magazine in a hostile takeover, forcing out Felker and Glaser. He owned the title until 1991. In 2003, the investment banker Bruce Wasserstein bought the magazine for $55 million.

In 2004, Wasserstein brought on Adam Moss, then editor of The New York Times Magazine, to become New York’s editor-in-chief. Under Moss’ leadership, the print magazine launched a quick, and major, overhaul dedicated in large part to enhancing the magazine’s cultural coverage. The move revitalized the magazine, leading to an improvement in both its quality and relevance. “He gets credit for making it significantly better, very quickly,” Kurt Andersen, co-founder of Spy magazine — and, briefly, New York’s editor himself — said of Moss after the redesign.

New York is also known for its witty design elements, both in print and online. The Approval Matrix, New York’s tongue-in-cheek graphical ranking system for cultural and political news items, was an early innovator in infographic design, and is still widely imitated. The magazine’s cover featuring Eliot Spitzer, in the wake of the New York governor’s prostitution scandal, was characterized by one graphic designer as, simply, “perfect.”

In 2006, Moss oversaw the revamp of nymag.com, reframing it as a daily destination for both city and national news. The redesign saw the birth of several blogs, with the Daily Intel, Grub Street, Vulture, and Fashion blogs together acting as a “big, big engine of growth” for the site overall, its general manager has said. As of early 2011, nymag.com was getting 8.5 million unique visitors a month. “In a way,” noted The New York Times’ David Carr, “New York magazine is fast becoming a digital enterprise with a magazine attached.”

Since the redesigns, New York has won more National Magazine Awards than any other publication. It has also been a finalist 44 times across various design and content categories. In 2007, New York became the first magazine to win awards for both its print and online editions in the same year.

The magazine has also improved its financial fortunes. In 2008, New York Media diversified with its purchase of the heavily trafficked restaurant site MenuPages.com. Between 2007 and 2010, visitors to the company’s websites, including MenuPages, doubled, with 2010’s digital sales up 70 percent over 2009’s. Digital revenue now constitutes 35 percent of the company’s overall revenue. Additionally, New York’s web presence is expanding the magazine’s impact beyond its previous city and regional reach: 75 percent of the visitors to New York’s various sites now come from beyond the New York market. In 2013, the magazine announced that it would cut back to a biweekly print schedule.


New York’s general manager on the mag becoming a “daily news destination”:

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Primary author: Megan Garber. Main text last updated: December 5, 2013.
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