Making A Difference

Saving an American Publishing Icon

David Bradley (MBA 1977)

David Bradley (MBA 1977) is chairman of Atlantic Media. In this interview, he explains how the rise of the internet actually saved and helped improve the venerable Atlantic magazine.

“The first company I started, when I was 26 years old, was called the Research Council. The theory of it was that we would do research on any topic for any individual. Turns out, the thing that was more in demand was best-practices research. And that company became the Corporate Executive Board and the Advisory Board Company.

“At age 40, at that dangerous age for a man where he finds himself rethinking his career, I bought the Atlantic, then the Atlantic Monthly. And then, almost as soon as I bought the magazine, the internet arrived as well.

“So it was just an economic freefall. You know who rescued us? The internet rescued us. The irony is the thing that's ruining journalism, in general, came to our rescue.

“Today, we have over 30 million visitors a month. It's highly profitable, and that's allowed us to carry this beloved print magazine. It's also allowed the magazine itself to get better.

“Our job is not to take down the administration. That's a view that we came to on our own. And then someone discovered in the Declaration of Founding Principles for the Atlantic, dating back to 1857, their proposition of ‘no party or clique.’ Our purpose is clarity of thought.”

(Published October 2017)

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