AIM names new editors-in-chief for two magazines

AIM recently promoted Mary South to editor-in-chief of Soundings magazine and appointed Jonathan Cooper as editor-in-chief of PassageMaker magazine.

Active Interest Media recently promoted Mary South to editor-in-chief of Soundings magazine and appointed Jonathan Cooper as editor-in-chief of PassageMaker magazine.

South, who also is editor-at-large for the Active Interest Media Marine Group, previously was deputy editor of Soundings. Former editor-in-chief Bill Sisson will continue in his roles as the editor-in-chief of Trade Only and Anglers Journal.

Cooper takes over the editor-in-chief position at PassageMaker from Peter Swanson, who is taking on the newly formed role of events content manager.

A 25-year publishing veteran, South will manage the Soundings brand strategy across all channels, including print, Web, video, events and digital publishing. She is an avid yachtswoman whose accomplishments include rounding Cape Horn, participating in the Clipper Round the World Race, cruising her steel trawler from Florida to Maine, and various adventures in the South Pacific, the Amazon and the Mediterranean.

She is a former book editor at Riverhead Books and Rodale and other publishers, and was the dockmaster in East Hampton, New York. She is the author of The Cure for Anything is Salt Water, published by HarperCollins. South will continue in her role as the deputy editor of Anglers Journal.

Prior to joining the AIM Marine Group she served as Yachting magazine’s editor-in-chief.

“I’m very excited to work with Mary,” says George Sass Jr., vice president and group editorial director of the AIM Marine Group. “It’s difficult to find such an accomplished publishing executive and a passionate mariner. Bill Sisson wanted to ensure the next person to take the reins of Soundings was the best and understood both the nuances and beauty of the Soundings brand. We found this with Mary. She has an innate understanding of great storytelling and what keeps an audience engaged. When our core mission is excellent content first, it’s vital that we have the best people leading our brands — people like Bill and Mary.”

Cooper comes to the Marine Group from Grand Banks Yachts, where he was director of marketing and oversaw communications across all channels. He also is an accomplished photographer whose work has been published in national magazines. Before Grand Banks, Cooper worked for Getty Images and Grey Advertising in New York.

“These are exciting times in the media landscape, where audiences are growing and the types of brand extensions we deliver are increasing,” Sass says. “We get to expand storytelling across all of these platforms. So when we’re able to work with a prolific communications professional like Jonathan, who spent the last 12 years packaging content and engaging consumers in the market PassageMaker serves, it’s exciting. I’m anxious to see the level of creative thinking coming from Jonathan and associate publisher Geoff Leech, and the entire PassageMaker team. These guys live and breathe this market.”

Swanson quickly stepped into his new role as events content manager and is overseeing the generation and production of the Marine Group’s events and seminar series. He has a unique perspective from his 40-year publishing career, as well as an extensive cruising résumé, including the Red Sea, the Panama Canal, and across the Atlantic and the Caribbean.

“Our events are expanding, and consumer participation is key as we cultivate these enthusiastic communities,” says Gary De Sanctis, group publisher and general manager of the AIM Marine Group. “Thanks to Peter, we’ve found the winning formula is to build each event almost like a magazine, where balance, authority and authenticity are key components. We want to ensure that people keep coming back to our events to continue their education while being entertained. The best way to do this is to invest and create this position.”

The AIM Marine Group consists of Power & Motoryacht, Anglers Journal, PassageMaker, Soundings, Soundings Trade Only, Sail,Yachts International, Woodshop News, and Show Management.

Parent company Active Interest Media publishes leading consumer enthusiast magazines, including Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Vegetarian Times, Ski, Black Belt, American Cowboy, Log Home Living, Old House Journal, Oxygen and more. The company’s five publishing groups — the Equine Network, the Home Buyer Group, the Healthy Living Group, the Marine Group and the Outdoor Group — reach more than 40 million readers in 85 countries around the world.

AIM also operates websites, B2B businesses, a state-of-the-art video unit and Warren Miller Entertainment, the most successful outdoor film production company in history. Each division also runs consumer and trade events, including the world’s largest boat shows and yoga conferences.


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