In news sure to sadden devotees of modern-design magazine Dwell: Sam Grawe, the magazine's editor in chief since 2006 (the brilliant guy who once paired chickens with Eames chairs and professed a zany habit of Googling sweaters inspired by the Cosby Show), and Kyle Blue, the pub's whizkid design director, have both stepped down from their posts. The news came from an email Grawe personally sent out, as well as a Tweet that referenced the departure: "Enjoying my last day @dwell with @KyleBlue ... It's been an amazing decade of design." Under their leadership, Dwell experienced a complete print and digital redesign bordering on the spectacular and earned a spot as a finalist for the 2009 National Design Award for Corporate Excellence.
What, pray tell, is up? The magazine is always front and center in cheerful, optimistic media reports: a veritable cross-platform wonderland consisting of respectable (albeit diminishing) print revenue compensated by an impressive portfolio of ancillary products such as dwell.com (not only a regurgitation of the magazine but a standalone resource with proprietary content), iPad apps, a strong (and delightfully wacky) social media existence, and, of course, Dwell on Design, an enormous annual industry conference in Los Angeles. Tangibly, the September 2011 issue, just out, is 12 pages bigger than September 2010; March 2011 beat out March 2010 by four. And intangibly, Dwell survived the dark days of the 2008/09 publishing blight, managing to exist far beyond Metropolitan Home, Hachette Filipacchi's now-defunct modern-design pub and, arguably, a competitor. Yet the Grawe/Blue dual exodus comes closely on the heels of the announcement that company president Michela O'Connor Abrams has appointed Brenda Saget Darling (formerly of House & Garden Traditional Home, and More) as Dwell's new publisher. So please, go ahead and raise the red flags: these are just the sort of top-level publishing/editorial changes that deserve 'em.
No word as to where Grawe's headed, but Blue has plans to relocate from San Fran to NYC. Whether their leaving was voluntary or part of some enormous top-of-the-masthead, executively ordained overhaul, we're sad to see them go, wish them well, and are keeping our fingers crossed that the magazine endures.
· @Grawesome [Twitter]
· EIC Fashions [Curbed National]
· Dwell Dollhouse: Urban Infill Nanofarming [Curbed National]
· Sam Grawe [Dwell]
· @KyleBlue [Twitter]
· Brenda Saget Darling Named New 'Dwell' Publisher [MIN Online]
· You Want a Publishing Success Story? Here It Is [Publishing Executive]
· Is Dwell Magazine Folding? [Shelterpop]
· Dwell the Most-Followed Shelter Magazine on Twitter, Of Course! [Curbed National]
Items Concepts That Dwell Positively Cherishes [Curbed National]