Justin Moran is the new editor of Paper magazine effective immediately, said Tom Florio, chief executive and founder of ENTech Media Group, Paper’s parent company.
Moran joined Paper in 2017 as Chief Digital Officer and recently moved Paper from its print roots to a social media-powered community platform. The magazine ceased printing operations at the start of the pandemic in 2020, when, like many legacy print publications, it laid off staff and instituted temporary pay cuts as the pandemic decimated print advertising revenue. There has been virtually no editorial manager since Drew Elliott left to join Mac Cosmetics in 2019.
“The paper has always been a champion of emerging talent and, more recently in its evolution, has also become a space for established stars to reinvent themselves and perform,” Moran said in a statement provided to WWD. “I’m excited to continue to explore this intersection and lean even more into the internet generation with our content. Queer ideas are mainstream ideas and Paper will continue to be a leader of that ideology.
Florio, a former top Condé Nast executive, bought the then-influential counterculture brilliance in 2017 from co-founders and co-publishers Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits. In a statement to WWD, he praised Moran’s tenure at Paper and his focus on the LGBTQ community.
“Justin has a deep knowledge and appreciation of the brand DNA, a true understanding of our audiences and the cultural conversations that drive them,” Florio said. “He brought intellectual rigor to Paper’s signature counterculture voice by embracing an LGBTQ ideology.”
In its heyday under Hastreiter, Paper was known for its cutting-edge covers and early embrace of the now familiar “internet culture.” Its 2014 cover featuring a nude Kim Kardashian (then West) photographed by French photographer Jean-Paul Goude generated more than 70 million monthly unique visitors on Papermag.com and was a pivotal moment in the history of pop culture.
The digital iteration of the brand featured an eclectic range of cover subjects ranging from establishment figures like (Steve Harvey) to Gen Z stalwarts (Coi Leray).