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Two weeks after Slate revealed four major cuts, the Web site is losing another senior member: John Swansburg, its culture editor, is going to newyorker.com. Swansburg will become newyorker.com’s first online culture editor.
Swansburg joins The New Yorker on the heels of its biggest traffic month ever. The New Yorker got just over 5 million unique visitors in August, an all-time best for the site, according to the magazine’s spokeswoman. The traffic spike benefited from two magazine stories that were posted online: Nicholas Schmidle’s controversial tick-tock of the Osama Bin laden raid and Ryan Lizza’s Michele Bachmann profile. Between January and July, the magazine averaged just over 3 million uniques a month, according to Omniture statistics, which were provided by the magazine’s spokeswoman.
The magazine has been selectively investing in its Web site over the past few years. Earlier this year, editor David Remnick reassigned a senior editor at the magazine, Amy Davidson, to oversee news on newyorker.com, but the site still needed another arm, he said.
“Amy is essentially one half of what we do. She’s covering the news side of things—economics, Obama’s speech, all those things you’d roughly put in that area,” said Remnick. “Then there’s the other half of what we do: Culture. We needed a dedicated culture editor as much as we needed a dedicated news editor.”
Swansburg had been with Slate since 2007. He was previously an editor for The Boston Globe’s Ideas section.
His departure from Slate comes after the Web site laid off Jack Shafer; Timothy Noah; June Thomas, and Juliet Lapidos. Shafer landed quickly with Reuters and Noah was recently hired as a senior editor at The New Republic.