Will Welch, who recently was creative director at American GQ and also the Editor-in-Chief of GQ Style was named Editor-in-Chief of GQ yesterday. He succeeds Jim Nelson, who took care of the role for more than 15 years, and will continue to lead GQ Style.
Welch joined the magazine in 2007 and was named the Editor-in-chief of GQ Style, which has now published three times a year. Last December, he took over Jim Moore’s duties when the longtime CD retired. Will Welch was also featured in the publisher’s 2017 “Next Gen” marketing campaign by being the new sources of creative energy at the group.
Chief Executive and President, Bob Sauerberg said in a statement,
Will is the definition of a modern editor. 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.
Jim Nelson’s exit marks the end of an era for GQ and the separation of an another long-running publisher. He commented,
Nelson and Welch, together at the Amazing Spaces by HugoBoss event.
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.
Nelson took the lead at GQ in 2003, six years after joining the company, succeeded after former Editor-in-Chief Art Cooper’s retire. During his duty, the magazine was nominated for 64 National Magazine Awards and won a Pulitzer Prize in April 2018 for feature writing. Under Nelson, GQ became famous for its long-form journalism and the finest-quality text about suiting men’s style that became a benchmark for the US men.
All the change comes as Condé Nast is working on belated digital overtake after a century as a print publisher, known for publishing a very overpriced and higly-glossy content. A major area of focus in the digital has been video, which is a big part of investment at the head company.
GQ’s web traffic also grew 43% year-over-year to the unique views which lead 14M, as of July. Meanwhile, readers of its print editions are down over 5 percent year-over year, according to MPA-Association of Magazine Media.