Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2016)—Robert Bole is joining The Atlantic as the first general manager of CityLab.com, The Atlantic’s President Bob Cohn announced today. A media strategist who has directed digital and international strategy for major brands throughout his career, Bole will, together with CityLab.com editor Sommer Mathis, lead an expansion of the site’s audience, revenue, and mission. Bole will increase staff across editorial, product, sales, and marketing, with the intention of quickly doubling both audience and revenue.
“CityLab covers urban issues and modern life with creativity and intelligence,” said Cohn. “With his background as a digital leader and his passion for cities, Rob is the perfect choice to super-charge the site, growing the audience and building great products for readers and advertisers.”
As general manager, Bole will be responsible for all aspects of CityLab.com, including sales, content, and distribution. Bole has spent his career in leadership and digital and global strategy for media companies. He was the director of innovation for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a federal agency that oversees five regional media networks, and managed digital media strategy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More recently, Bole has been an advisor to The New York Times and The Atlantic. He began his career in city planning, working as a housing specialist for the cities of Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon. He has a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
“Cities are at the center of our globalizing world,” said Bole. “They have become our engines of innovation, connection points for culture, and the foundation for smart, sustainable growth. CityLab has to become an information source for a global audience of not only ‘city builders,’ but a broader audience of people who care about and want to improve their urban communities.”
Launched five years ago this week, CityLab.com is the leading source for those who create and influence today’s cities—heralded for its sharp analysis, original reporting, and visual storytelling. Among its offerings are Navigator, a guide to urban life, and CityFixer, which curates powerful solutions-based stories around a dozen topics, from streets and climate change to aging and mass transit. The fourth annual CityLab summit, gathering global mayors and city innovators to address major issues and attainable solutions, will take place in Miami from October 23-25.
Earlier this year, The Atlantic partnered with Univision to launch CityLab Latino. The destination features original journalism in Spanish as well as reporting from CityLab.com, adapted and translated for the new platform. The editorial team for CityLab Latino is split between Miami and Washington, D.C.