The Atlantic’s CEO Nick Thompson announced that Andrea Valdez is joining his senior leadership team as senior vice president of audience strategy later this month. Valdez is the founding editor in chief of the nonprofit, independent news organization The 19th, and was previously an editor at The Texas Observer, Wired, and Texas Monthly.
“Andrea is one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with,” Thompson said. “She has a profound understanding of editorial and has been an editor in chief. But she also has a profound understanding of business, and what it takes to thrive in media. She can play offense, she can play defense, and she can make everyone laugh too.”
In this newly created role on the business side of The Atlantic, Valdez will collaborate closely with newsroom leadership; product, engineering, and growth; and B2B teams on audience growth across platforms. She has a history of building readership as an editor, and will translate those sensibilities into a business strategy for continued audience and subscription growth at The Atlantic. The past year has seen record numbers of both, as audiences turned to The Atlantic’s exacting coverage of the pandemic, of threats to global democracy, and of an overdue national reckoning on race. The Atlantic currently has 770,000 subscribers––the most in its history.
Valdez helped launch The 19th in 2020 as an independent newsroom focused on the intersection of gender, politics, and policy. She was previously the editor in chief of the Texas Observer, editor of WIRED.com, and editor of Texas Monthly’s website. She wrote the book How to Be a Texan: The Manual. She serves on the boards of the Texas Book Festival and the Student Press Law Center.
In April, The Atlantic announced the hires of Jefferson Rabb as VP of engineering; and Kas Mayanga, who will be the publisher’s first VP of information security. Both Mayanga and Rabb are joining the product, engineering, and growth team, working to support and amplify the journalism, revenue growth, and experiences of The Atlantic’s readers and subscribers.