Mr Magazine Interviews Steven Kotok, President and CEO of the Bauer Media Group
Steven Kotok joined Keesing Media Group’s US subsidiary with 17 titles already published and his primary task was reviving an underperforming start for First for Women magazine – now one of the two highest selling newsstand titles in North America.
Mr. Magazine hosted by Jaime Barsin discusses bucking the trend of shrinking newsweeklies by placing big bets in print on this episode of Mr. Magazine.
Early Life and Education
Steven Kotok is a resident of Little Silver and currently serving his first term on the Little Silver School Board. With his wife they have one child in elementary school and another attending middle school. Steven’s research interests lie in studying how school context influences student outcomes among low-income and minority children.
Kotok began his career at Dennis, which published The Week and Mental Floss magazines, by answering a classified ad. Over 18 years he served under Felix Dennis – whom he described as his mentor – while running their U.S. operations – including business and publishing divisions. Bauer Media Group USA later acquired Dennis, making Kotok president/managing director for its North American operation (Kappa Books/Publishing division included).
Steven Kotok, president and CEO USA of Bauer Media Group, joins us on this episode of Mr. Magazine to discuss focusing on readers, newsstand business models, big bets for 2019 and much more.
Kotok began his publishing career working under Felix Dennis’ publishing empire, where he created iconic “lad mag” Maxim in 1995 and later Blender, an entertainment multimedia publication on CD-ROM format that became an online publication. Shortly thereafter he joined The Week as business and circulation director, helping grow it to over half a million paid subscriptions within six months.
Two years ago, Dennis acquired Mental Floss magazine of “random, amazing information,” such as fill-in-the-blank trivia like facts about _____. Kotok was charged with reinforcing that brand as well as expanding e-commerce operations and adding digest-sized First for Women titles to his duties at Dennis.
Achievement and Honors
Steven Kotok, longtime executive at the media company that publishes The Week and Mental Floss, recently announced his intention to leave to pursue new challenges. Kotok informed staff in an employee memo of this decision and stated he wanted to leave when the business could operate successfully without him.
After graduating from MIT, he went to work for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), before later moving to the World Wide Web Consortium and eventually the Internet Society of New Zealand. Author Steven Levy described him as one of the first “true hackers.”
Kotok also leads an active community life. He and his wife reside in Little Silver where he sits on the board of education for Point Road Elementary School as well as serving on LS Rec’s Board.
Kotok lives in Little Silver, New Jersey where he serves on the Board of Education as well as coaching football, soccer and basketball for youth sports teams in his community. Additionally, he is on the Executive Committee for Little Silver Chamber of Commerce as well as being an active volunteer within local community organizations.
Kotok ventured further into Felix Dennis’ publishing empire by answering an advertisement and accepting employment with Blender magazine – an ambitious multimedia publication intended to be “the CD-ROM of magazines.” Unfortunately, however, Blender wasn’t successful and ultimately shut down.
Hubert Boehle came to America 27 years ago from Germany as CEO of Bauer Media Group. When he took on these roles, he took over First for Women magazine for women and Man’s World for men–both struggling publications that required his intervention for survival and growth of both titles and company overall. With these assets under his stewardship he managed to save both titles while simultaneously expanding business growth within Bauer.
Kotok is at the center of an influential network spanning finance, public policy, Federal Reserve monetary policy, international relations and global interdependence – making his impactful presence felt far beyond any biographical sketch one may read about him.
Reviving First for Women magazine from near death to becoming the second highest selling newsstand title behind Woman’s World. He also saved other struggling titles like Maxim and revived Felix Dennis’ company book publishing division.
Steve Liesman boasts a net worth of $600,000.00 and will turn 59 on May 21, 2021. An amateur guitarist, Liesman plays with a Grateful Dead cover band in addition to serving as CNBC’s senior economics correspondent and previous energy reporter and Moscow bureau chief for Wall Street Journal Energy Report and Moscow Bureau Report respectively.