Valerie Cortés named publisher at Boston Review
Prior to joining Boston Review, Cortés irculation and Marketing Director for Bookforum and Artforum
Cambridge, MA – October 23, 2014 — Boston Review, an award-winning magazine of politics and literature, has hired Valerie Cortés as publisher in time for the publication’s Fortieth Anniversary in 2015.
“Valerie brings a tremendous amount of experience as well as a stunning track record,” says Editor Deborah Chasman. “Over the past four years BR has grown by leaps and bounds. We’re certain that Valerie will help the magazine continue to find new readers all across the country.”
Valerie joins Boston Review after spending over six years as the Circulation and Marketing Director for Bookforum and Artforum, where she oversaw impressive growth in their advertising, circulation, and distribution.
In 2010, Boston Review began a large-scale re-launch process. The print magazine’s format was re-imagined, changing from a newsprint broadsheet to glossy full-color. Last year BR also launched an overhauled website, which allows for expanded discussions of topics covered in the magazine as well as more online-only features and forums.
“Nowhere else will you find a short story about time travel in between a debate about democratic ethics and an essay on foreign affairs,” says Boston Review’s longtime fiction editor, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz. “In these unequal times everyone should be reading Boston Review and joining the debate. Valerie will make that happen and I can’t wait.”
So far the investments have paid dividends. The magazine’s circulation revenue has grown by more than sixty percent since the re-launch, and its donor base has more than doubled.
Now Cortés plans to help elevate the magazine to new heights. In her first month Cortés has more than quadrupled the distribution. And with further plans to target potential subscribers with direct mailings and through digital platforms, she looks forward to testing key markets, including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
“I am thrilled to join this tremendous public institution,” says Cortés. “I’ve been a fan and supporter of the magazine for years and it’s truly an honor to be a part of this incredible team.”
Cortés is the first person to hold the position of publisher since Stephanie Skinner oversaw the 2010 format change and re-launch, and she is the first full-time publisher in the magazine’s forty-year history.
“In an era of massive contraction, the biggest challenge facing the magazine industry is to plan properly to meet the changing market. That takes expertise, vision, and leadership,” says David Rose, publisher of Lapham’s Quarterly, who was involved in the search. “Boston Review has taken the bold step to employ a publisher with a proven understanding of both digital and print environments. This is an obvious leap forward into sustainable development and audience growth. That they’ve secured the services of one of the industry’s brightest and most coveted talents in Valerie Cortés is not only impressive, it’s brilliant, and reforges the journal’s business remit into a rallying cry for those who have supported it thus far: Boston Review doesn’t intend to merely survive in this difficult era, it plans to thrive. That’s a mission statement everyone can get behind.”