1003If a well-traveled captain is what it takes to steer a magazine out of relative obscurity, Mental Floss may soon find itself sailing into breezier seas.
The magazine--a bi-monthly compendium of factoids, listicles and esoterica--will announce on Tuesday its first marquee hire since the title was acquired several months ago by British publishing magnate Felix Dennis.
James Kaminsky, an industry veteran who's held top editorial slots at Playboy, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal and Maxim--the best-selling lad mag Dennis founded in 1995 and later imported to the United States--has been named editor-in-chief. He takes the helm today from Neely Harris, who was offered a managing editor role, but decided instead to move on to a new job as senior editor at ESPN the Magazine, said Will Pearson, co-founder of Mental Floss.
Kaminsky brings with him a glossy cachet that Mental Floss has coveted ever since Pearson and his Duke University buddy Mangesh Hattikudur conceived the publication back in 2000. Eleven years later, they've grown Mental Floss from a glorified campus zine to a slick, 100,000-circulation product found on magazine racks the world over. They've also developed a profitable side-business of t-shirts, books and board games that have bolstered the brand among its core audience of trivia geeks.
But Mental Floss still flies under the radar of most mainstream consumers, especially compared to Dennis Publishing's other American general interest title, The Week. (The company sold Maxim in 2007.) Kaminsky, along with corresponding hires on the sales and circulation sides, has been tasked with changing that.
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