Illustration by Christophe Marchand
Dec 7, 2020
Introducing a new Brooklyn Magazine for a new era
So you think New York is dead? We here in Brooklyn see things differently.
Today we are introducing a new Brooklyn Magazine, under new ownership and new management, with a new sensibility–and during a pandemic. The premier premium glossy quarterly that covered the lifestyle and culture of New York’s most populous borough for a decade returns as a digital-first daily newsletter and website with a revamped look, feel and voice to better reflect—and celebrate—the borough’s diverse communities, cultural complexity and rich history.
It’s a stat that never fails to blow us away: Brooklyn by itself is on pace to become the third largest city in the country. (Step aside, Chicago.) And it is quintessentially, multiculturally American: It’s the birthplace of Biggie and RBG, the hotdog and the teddy bear.
This has been a tough year. We have all been hobbled in varying degrees by the coronavirus pandemic, now in its second (second-and-a-half?) wave. We were battered by a brutal election season and its contentious aftermath. We’ve been inside for so long. So we see the mission of the new Brooklyn Magazine as a unifying one: We aim to cover Brooklyn communities that are rebuilding, persevering and creating. It’s a new mission that rhymes with our legacy. We’re about celebrating the culture, music, arts, fashion and businesses of Brooklyn. We’ll cover main characters in the borough, the industries that make us unique. The people who make up the DNA of Kings.
A revamped digital experience will reflect our renewed mission: In addition to a new website, which will continue to house the Brooklyn Magazine and L Magazine archives, we’ll offer a free daily email newsletter (subscribe on our homepage) and a weekly podcast.
Brooklyn Magazine relaunches with a modern look and feel dreamed up by New York-based agency Group SJR (shoutout to Johnmichael Faustini and Joelle McKenna). We also received editorial and strategic support from The News Project, headed by veteran media executive and journalist Merrill Brown and Head of Audience Alex Leo. A diverse roster of writers will cover the makers, strivers and doers who may or may not be household names—yet—but are vital to the fabric of our civic and creative lives.
About me: I’m the editorial director of this enterprise. I’m a 20-year Brooklyn resident and career journalist who loves this borough. Most recently editor-in-chief of Ad Age, the marketing and media industry bible, I’ve held staff positions at Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Parenting Magazine, Digiday and others. This spring I teamed up with digital media executive Michael Bassik to acquire both Brooklyn Magazine and sister publication The L Magazine from Northside Media Group with the goal of reviving a dormant giant.
The inaugural episode of Brooklyn Magazine: The Podcast features an in-depth interview with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who reflects on a season of unrest from the vantage point of a reform-minded NYPD-sergeant-turned-politician. Other episodes will include long-form conversations with actor Debi Mazar and Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy. (Subscribe at your go-to podcast purveyor, we’re not picky.)
We’re going to be improvising as we go. But the through-line will remain constant: By celebrating the communities, culture and commerce of Brooklyn, we aim to give voice and inspiration to a borough that’s had the wind knocked out of it, but will come back bigger than ever.
I’m excited to spend some time with you in the neighborhood. In the meantime, we want this to be a two-way conversation. If you have tips, insights, info, intel, hopes, dreams, fears or desires, please share them here.