PAPER TO PIXELS: Who is Andrew Essex?

PAPER TO PIXELS: Who is Andrew Essex?

Want to know where publishing is headed? Ask someone who deals with print advertisers around the world every day.  And if he happens to have a massive and prestigious magazine background as should handcuff him to your desk and make him tell you everything he knows.

Meet Andrew Essex, CEO of Droga5.

The founder and former editor-in-chief of Absolute magazine, Andrew is a twenty year magazine veteran. Before Absolute, he was executive editor of Details magazine. He has also held senior editorial posts at The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, Men's Health and Interview and served as consultant for launches of Us Weekly and

His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Outside, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Food & Wine, Allure, and the Village Voice among others. Andrew has also been a commentor for CNN, The View, ABC, CNBC, MTV, E!, and has served as judge and instructor for the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Publication Designers.

He received a BA and an MA in American Literature from New York University.

Tuesday, October 7th, Andrew will be a panelist on SPD's next event at FIT  Paper To Pixels. We recently got Andrew to answer a question for us....since he's handcuffed to the desk here and all.

BK: How do you see magazines evolving over the next 10-15 years?
More of what and less of what?

AE: As a lifetime magazine devotee, and someone who still passionately believes in the form, I am convinced that this is a pivotal moment for magazine makers to actively reassert their strengths, and to invest in the attributes that only print can celebrate. The web is categorically not the death of magazines. However, the web is a Darwinian change agent, and magazines that lack vision will be left behind. To me, this is good news. Over the next few years online journalism will force magazines to remember their epistemological reason for being: print is an aesthetic experience, a full commingling of sensual and intellectual pleasures. The metric that measures the success of this equation is engagement. Sensuality is the lens through which I would endeavor to select imagery and cover approaches that make the best magazines irresistible. We must compel the reader to pick up the magazine and say, yes, I need to be here, I must have/taste/wear/see that. The effect should function on a neural level, as if the publication gives off its own pheromones. I believe a strategic reinvestment in this path will produce newfound reader engagement, higher-caliber proprietary content (which can be extended over multiple verticals), awards, growth, and, of course, increased advertising revenue.

If you have a question for Andrew, leave it in the comments below and he will answer it at the event or right here on



Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, F.I.T.
27th Street & Seventh Avenue, NYC

7:00 - 8:30 PM; doors open at 6:30

SPD Members, $10 in advance ($15 CASH ONLY at the door)
Non-members, $15 in advance ($20 CASH ONLY at the door)
Students & faculty with valid ID: $5

Please call SPD at 212 223 3332 by 5pm on Friday, October 3rd for advance tickets; after Friday the 3rd, tickets can only be purchased at the door the evening of the event and will be $5 higher, CASH ONLY.

RSVP early! All tickets, and seating, are first come, first served.

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