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A NEW BRAND MANAGER: Travel + Leisure magazine has tapped Nathan Lump as its editor in chief, succeeding Nancy Novogrod, who revealed plans to retire in July. Lump has held senior positions in both the media and marketing businesses. He will begin his new job at T+L on Sept. 8 and report to Evelyn Webster, Time Inc. executive vice president. Novogrod’s last day will be Sept. 5.
For Lump, the appointment is somewhat of a homecoming; for Time Inc., it’s perhaps a foreshadowing of the kinds of editors the newly independent publishing group is looking to hire. One need look no further than Lump’s résumé, which is a hybrid of digital, editorial and branded content positions.
He joined Condé Nast in 2012, heading up the branded content unit for the publishing company since January. Prior to that, he served as digital director of Condé Nast Traveler, where he oversaw Web, social, mobile and tablet and their integration with print for about a year.
Before that, Lump spent three years leading content strategy at J. Walter Thompson and Hill Holliday. That stint was a leap from his editorial roots, which included stints as editor of the quarterly Travel and annual Holiday editions of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. He also spent six years as features director at Travel + Leisure, a year as associate editor of SmartMoney and two years as Condé Nast Traveler’s associate editor.
With the bulk of his most-recent experience spent trying to monetize editorial through advertising partnerships, WWD asked Lump if he’s the definition of what an editor must be today. “The fact that I bring together different disciplines, classical editorial, digital and brand building, I think it positions me well for what a modern editor can be,” he said, noting that it’s a melding of editorial and business skills.
“We are here to make great content and we are here to build a business,” he continued. “I can’t say whether it’s a new model [for an editor]. For me, one of the cornerstones of what I want to do is to embrace being a multiplatform brand.”
Lump explained that as the media landscape “evolves,” there are certain “gray areas” that have emerged and that he’s well positioned to navigate them. “There isn’t tension between holding your editorial integrity and setting up our brands to be partners with our partners. But it is important to set up lines and uphold that editorial integrity,” he said. “Having worked on both sides, it allows me to know those lines. I feel very comfortable upholding that integrity.”
Although he didn’t provide details on his editorial strategy, he did allude to business opportunities for T+L, which will likely include a push into mobile, video, native advertising, conferences and perhaps e-commerce as ways to grow new revenue streams. He also noted that T+L would look to creating “utilities and tools” for travelers to better navigate their trips.
“I’m a very results-focused editor and I pay a lot of attention to where things are moving and how behaviors are moving,” he said. “We want to look at all the areas that are showing promise right now.”