Denis Wilson is a Magazine Leader in the Digital Era
Denis Wilson knows that smart business and smart journalism are inextricably linked, that one cannot survive without the other. As the Editor-in-Chief of Book Business and Publishing Execitive Magazine, his goal is to have journalists and publishers see that their relationship needs nurturing, and needs to evolve as the industry changes.
Wilson’s career has been a study in the media adaptation that he preaches. After graduating from Syracuse University in 2006, Wilson, like so many others, planned on being a hot-shot writer for a New York City magazine. And, like many others, found that dream wasn’t as easy to fulfill as it sounded.
After working as an editorial assistant at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in Philadelphia, and as the editor of Wet Feet Magazine and WetFeet.com, he realized his affinity for editing. “The job of the editor is to know what the user wants, learn about the audience, and their concerns,” Wilson says. He found this is what he loved to do.
In his current role, his goals are more ambitious than that. Having arrived at NAPCO Media to be the Editor In Chief of the two magazines, he quickly got to work commissioning and writing content to help his readers. His number one priority, he says, is to help publishers create smart models, those that can stand the test of this new era in media. As a journalist who believes strongly in the mission to serve greater understanding, he also wants to continue to support quality journalism in sustainable ways. He thinks both journalists and publishers need to wake up, to work on their relationship.
To do this, he tries to engender conversation between people that have traditional distrust. But the “great wall” between editorial and business—a separation that many journalists have come to revere—has actually hurt the business of journalism. Wilson is trying to change that, one reader at a time. Since his readers are in the publishing and journalism business, he’s trying to position his magazines and web sites as a community where people learn from each other.
Denis Wilson knows the power of adaptability. “Most people will help you if you’re genuine and not too needy,” he says. If you’re willing to put in the work, people will help you navigate the uncertainty. Wilson’s career has been about radical change, something he’s now trying to bring to publishing industry.