Spin has parted ways with Editor-in-Chief Caryn Ganz. Jeff Leeds, the editorial boss of parent company SpinMedia, gave the news to staffers in a meeting Wednesday night in Spin’s New York office.
Reached by phone, Ganz confirmed her departure, which she called “surprising,” noting that Spin’s website had just had the second-biggest month traffic-wise in its history. Ganz worked for Spin from 2001 to 2006, and returned in October 2011 after stints at Yahoo! and Rolling Stone.
“Before I came back there was a large rift between the editorial visions of the site and the magazine,” she said. “Now that we only had digital concerns, we were amping up the quality and the aesthetic and the humor of the old Spin.” The publication, Ganz said, “had restored the faith of our peers in what we were doing.”
Page views had doubled, Ganz said, and the site “broke several records for uniques.” She announced her dismissal on Twitter Thursday:
Twitter didn’t exist the last time SPIN canned me, so this is new. I hired a dream team and ran the stories I loved. bit.ly/5r7aTS
— cganz (@mehpatrol) May 30, 2013
“I personally was ecstatic about the direction we were headed,” Spin Senior Editor Christopher R. Weingarten told Poynter by phone. “We’ve been running reported features while everyone was fighting for this slice of the Daft Punk pie. … I can’t think there’s anyone outside The New York Times that’s doing the number of reported music features we’re doing right now.”
BuzzMedia bought Spin last July. It laid off the magazine’s editor-in-chief and managing editor that month and announced in December it would end print publication. BuzzMedia renamed itself SpinMedia earlier this year.
“We made this change to better position SPIN to compete in today’s digital ecosystem, and to align SPIN with our goal of building the best music properties in the world,” Spin spokesperson Julia Walker told Poynter in an email. “SPIN has grown steadily as a result of a concerted team effort since SpinMedia purchased it in July 2012. But we felt it required new leadership to help take it to the next level as a digital brand. Personnel shifts are never easy, and we’re deeply respectful of the enormous contribution Caryn made to help us get this far.”
Leeds told staffers at the meeting that the company would seek a new editor. In a phone call with Poynter, Editorial Director Charles Aaron said he would transition to an editor-at-large position this summer, something he said had been in the works for a while.
Disclosure: I used to work at Spin, first as a copy editor and later as a reporter.
Correction: This post originally said Spin announced it would print bimonthly in July 2012; it made that announcement in October 2011.