Gabriel Snyder leaves The Wire, Andrew Golis takes over

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Gabriel Snyder. ()
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Gabriel Snyder is leaving his job as editor-in-chief of The Wire, and Andrew Golis has been named "general manager" of the high-octane aggregation website published by Atlantic Media. Golis will conduct a search for a new editor-in-chief for the site.

Snyder has resigned from the post, which he's held for the past three years, to take a position at a "VC-backed mobile start-up," according to an internal memo provided to Capital.

"Gabriel is one of the most entrepreneurial journalists I have worked with, so it doesn’t surprise me that he would seize an opportunity like this," wrote M. Scott Havens, president of The Atlantic.

Snyder's departure comes less than two months after he spearheaded a sweeping revamp of The Wire, previously called The Atlantic Wire. An alumnus of The New York Observer, Variety, Gawker and Newsweek, he joined the site in early 2011 and oversaw a build-up of its newsroom and traffic.

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Reached by phone, Snyder said there was nothing between the lines of today's announcement. He declined to specify the name of the start-up or whether it's journalism-related, but he said it was an opportunity that he couldn't pass up.

"I'm really proud of the work we've done at The Wire and I'm confident the team that's here will go on to do great things," he said.

Golis, meanwhile, joined Atlantic Media last year as "entrepreneur in residence" following similar digitally-oriented stints at PBS' "Frontline" and Yahoo News, where this reporter worked for him for several months in 2010 and 2011.

At The Wire, Golis "will be charged with crystallizing the site’s strategy, growing the overall team, and scaling the business," according to Havens.

As we reported in November, The Wire is in the process of courting a broader range of advertisers than it was able to when the site was titularly attached to the core Atlantic brand.

Atlantic Media, which also publishes The Atlantic magazine, has been launching niche websites in areas like finance, defense and urban planning over the past few years.

The Atlantic proper has claimed consistent annual revenue growth and profitability since 2010; it attributes this largely to its digital footprint, which includes The Wire. A press release distributed Tuesday states that The Atlantic posted "its greatest profit yet" in 2013 and grew its readership by 34 percent. Atlantic Media is a private company and does not disclose its actual revenues.

Havens' full memo on Snyder and Golis is below:

Good Afternoon Team,

I am writing to let you know of some upcoming changes at The Wire: Gabriel Snyder has decided it is time to jump headfirst into the “mobile revolution” and has accepted a position with a VC-backed mobile start-up. His last day will be January 23rd. Gabriel is one of the most entrepreneurial journalists I have worked with, so it doesn’t surprise me that he would seize an opportunity like this. While we are saddened by his departure, we are fortunate to have Andrew Golis in our ranks, who will be stepping into the newly created post of General Manager of The Wire.

I am deeply grateful for Gabriel’s tireless leadership these past three years as he helped guide The Wire’s impressive growth and evolution. He has led an extraordinary team that has taken the brand to new heights, editorially and in its reach. I look forward to continuing our friendship and rooting for his new venture to flourish.

Earlier this winter, as you know, we relaunched The Wire with a refined mission, as well as a new name, URL, and look, and a mobile-first responsive design. The changes also represented a strategic business decision for us, formally establishing the site as an independent media brand in the marketplace. The second part of this plan has always been to invest dedicated business and technology resources to support the continued evolution of The Wire, which brings us to Andrew and his new leadership role. In this new post—itself a reflection of our excitement about the future of The Wire—Andrew will be charged with crystallizing the site’s strategy, growing the overall team, and scaling the business.

In just six months as The Atlantic’s entrepreneur in residence, Andrew has provided key strategic guidance to our Editorial and Digital Strategy teams, advising on our expanding video and paid-content initiatives, as well as several forthcoming new ventures.

Before joining us, Andrew was the Director of Digital Media and a Senior Editor at Frontline, where he oversaw two departments: Digital, which included editorial, strategy, design, and product development; and Audience Development, which included promotion, broadcast and digital audience research, and long-term audience strategy. Previously, Andrew was the Editor of Blogging and a Politics Editor at Yahoo News, where he built a network of originally reported blogs for the biggest digital news audience in the country. Before that, he was the Deputy Publisher of Talking Points Memo, where he helped manage that company's explosive editorial, audience, and business growth as it transitioned from a one-man blog to a fully staffed news organization.

You can see why Andrew is such a perfect fit for the next phase of The Wire.

As Andrew, James, and Bob search for The Wire’s new editor, Elle Reeve, Dashiell Bennett, and Joe Reid will lead the site’s editorial coverage. Individually and collectively, Elle, Dash, and Joe exemplify The Wire’s mission and sensibility, and the site is in good hands with them.

We’ll have a proper send-off for Gabriel closer to his last day, but, in the meantime, please join me in thanking him for his many contributions to The Wire. And please also join me in congratulating Andrew on his exciting new role.

Scott