Condé Nast has appointed Will Welch editor-in-chief of GQ. Welch will oversee all content creation, production and consumer experiences for each of GQ’s distribution platforms.
Welch joined GQ in May 2007 as an associate editor covering fashion, pop culture and music. He was promoted to senior editor in 2012, style editor in 2014, and creative director earlier this year. Welch becomes the title’s fifth editor-in-chief and succeeds 15-year veteran editor-in-chief Jim Nelson who will step down after GQ’s Men of the Year Awards in December.
“Will is responsible for so much of what has propelled GQ forward and has a clear vision for where it will go in the future,” said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast. “He is in an ongoing dialogue with the GQ audience, which has grown substantially in the past few years. His knowledge and keen eye for fashion and design and how to present it in a democratic way is a big part of his success with the reader.”
July 2018 was a record-breaking month for GQ on YouTube, when “Kylie Jenner Asks Travis Scott 23 Questions" was released and garnered nearly 30 million views, making it Condé Nast's most-watched video on YouTube ever. Across all platforms in July, GQ had 144 million total video views, a 58 per cent increase year-over-year. The brand also had nearly 14 million unique views to GQ.com (+43 per cent year-on-year), an average engagement of 4.8 minutes per visitor, an increase of 41 per cent from the year prior, and a record high of 27 million visits (+37 per cent year-on-year).*
“Will is the definition of a modern editor,” said Bob Sauerberg, CEO and president, Condé Nast. “He has a real command of how to create distinct and powerful content for every platform and understands the importance of inclusivity and authenticity in a brand’s voice today.”
"I'm honored to succeed the great Jim Nelson as editor-in-chief of GQ,” said Welch. “To me, GQ will always be synonymous with cutting-edge men's style and smart, rich storytelling. I think the big opportunity in this environment is to be more daring than ever. I'm excited to surprise and challenge our readers in new ways across GQ's many formidable platforms."
Added Nelson, “I’ve been at GQ for 21 years and in this job for more than 15 — a good, long, productive run, not to mention a ton of fun — and I’ve gotten to work with some of the most talented writers, editors, photographers, designers and creative minds in the business. So I leave feeling proud and confident in the excellence of the work we’ve done together, but more than that, grateful. When I add up all the emotions — and it is emotional to leave something you’ve loved — the overwhelming feeling is gratitude. Gratitude, mostly to the brilliant staffers and collaborators I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I owe it all to them. But now feels like a good time for me to figure out the next chapter of my life. (It’ll be a good one, I promise.) And with Will Welch taking over in the new year, I know that GQ will be in great hands.”
Condé Nast is a member of FIPP.
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