Adam Moss is an American magazine and newspaper editor. Since 2004, he has been the editor-in-chief of New York magazine. Under his editorship, New York has repeatedly been recognized for excellence, notably winning Magazine of the Year in 2013, and General Excellence both in print and online in 2010. Overall, New York has won more National Magazine Awards under his tenure than any other magazine. During this period, he oversaw the development and growth of New York's website into one repeatedly recognized as among the industry's most innovative and successful.
|Occupation||editor, magazine editor|
|Title||Editor-in-chief of New York|
Before coming to New York, Moss worked at The New York Times, where he edited the New York Times Magazine and served as the paper's assistant managing editor for features, overseeing the Magazine, Book Review, Culture and Style sections. He brought to the Times a magazine sensibility. "Moss became a guru of this change – an anti-Times sort of figure in the middle of the Times. A magazine person at a newspaper, an openly gay person in a repressed atmosphere, a mild man among bullies and screamers," described media writer Michael Wolff in a 1999 profile of Moss in New York magazine. When Ad Age named him Editor of the Year in 2001, the writer Jon Fine called the Times Magazine "one of the best reads in the business. Mr. Moss smartly and subtly remade the title, from its photography to front of the book, all the while navigating the internal culture of the Times. Under his watch, it became a showcase for thoughtful, long-form journalism. Like few other magazines, it thrives a few steps to the side of celeb-saturated culture and a few steps beyond the typical political polarities.” Moss shifted the balance of writers from Times staffers to nonfiction writers experienced in magazine journalism. During his time there, the magazine included as regular contributors Michael Lewis, Andrew Sullivan, Michael Pollan, Lynn Hirschberg, Jennifer Egan, and Frank Rich, among others.
In 2001, the writer Michael Finkel was discovered to have created composite characters for a story he had written on the African slave trade, a small scandal that was quickly eclipsed at The New York Times by the much larger one involving Jayson Blair. After the September 11 attacks, Moss and the Times Magazine created an issue of the magazine called "Remains of the Day" that was published online in its entirety that Friday, the first time the magazine published in digital form before print. Its 2001 story “One Awful Night in Thanh Phong” revealed former senator and one-time presidential candidate Bob Kerrey to have led a particularly brutal attack on a peasant village in Vietnam that one of his fellow team members described in terms that invoked some similarities to the My-Lai massacre. Mr. Kerrey disputed the characterization. The story was nominated that year for a Pulitzer Prize.
Previous jobs also included six years in various editorial capacities at Esquire magazine. Northwestern journalism professor David Abrahmson credits Moss's work at Esquire in assigning a series of pieces on the business of entertainment with "having a serious effect on what we all regard as the normal content of the mainstream media today, with its unremitting emphasis on not only celebrity, but also the economics of the celebrity-driven industries."
Moss first came to media attention as the founder of 7 Days, a weekly news magazine covering New York City arts and culture. Founded in 1988, it went out of business during the publishing-business recession of 1990, the week before it won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence. A number of 7 Days writers and editors, including Moss, were hired by The New York Times.
According to Wolff in his New York magazine profile: "It is hard to overstate what kind of magazine-world hero Moss became with 7 Days and its particular pop-culture idiom, and what kind of success failure can be." A 2003 profile of Moss in the Oberlin alumni magazine notes, "Concepts introduced by Moss in 7 Days would later insinuate themselves into The Times (take the wedding narratives in the Sunday Styles section; visceral stuff cleverly packaged)."
In his first year at New York, Moss completed an extensive renovation of the weekly magazine emphasizing an enhanced commitment to covering cultural happenings in the city and beyond (in "The Culture Pages") and introducing the "Strategist" section, a fun and indispensable urban sourcebook. At the time, Moss told Women's Wear Daily, "A lot of what we're doing with all of this renovation is actually restoration. Going back to the vault in various places during various eras of the magazine and trying to...modernize it and make sense of our time." Moss has launched new columns (John Heilemann's "The Power Grid" among them), ushered in a new generation of writers and photographers, and increased the magazine's political and business coverage. Moss is widely credited with restoring the luster the magazine enjoyed during its early years under legendary founder Clay Felker. "New York gives you an opportunity to talk about pretty much anything, all funneled through a single topic that its readers are passionate about, which is New York," Moss told Crain's New York Business in 2007. "That's the formula Clay Felker invented, and it's a great one."
In 2006 Moss oversaw a year-long relaunch of the magazine's flagship website, nymag.com, transforming it from a magazine companion site into a redesigned, up-to-the minute news and information site. Monthly unique users at the magazine’s websites—NYmag.com, Vulture.com, The Cut and Grub Street, have grown immensely since then, to more than 14 million. Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz noted in a 2009 profile, "Moss' signature accomplishment may be the development of a thriving Web site."
In a tribute to the magazine's late owner Bruce Wasserstein, The New York Times media critic David Carr wrote, "Mr. Wasserstein gets credit for selecting Adam Moss, the former editor of The New York Times Magazine, who has demonstrated significant skills in putting the magazine and its Web site in the middle of the Manhattan conversation, but Mr. Wasserstein gets even more credit for staying out of the way and allowing Mr. Moss and his colleagues to do their jobs." Almost a year later, in another one of his Times columns, Carr remarked, "One of the charms of the publishing business is that a single person can have an outsize effect, and many would suggest that Mr. Moss, with his deft hand for provocative covers and smart assignments, is one of the best editors working in a hybrid age."
During his tenure New York won 24 National Magazine Awards (more than any other publication over this time period), including Magazine of the Year, four for General Excellence in print and three for General Excellence online, as well as awards for Profile Writing, Essays, Personal Service, five for the Strategist section and two each for the magazine's design, Leisure Interests, and online fashion coverage. 
Moss was twice named Editor of the Year by Advertising Age – in 2007 for his work at New York and in 2001 for his work at The New York Times Magazine. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from his alma mater Oberlin College in 2005,  and the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 2012.
Moss has co-edited four books while at New York: New York Look Book: A Gallery of Street Fashion (New York: Melcher Media, 2007), New York Stories: Landmark Writing From Four Decades of New York Magazine (New York: Random House, 2008), My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City (As Remembered by Actors, Artists, Athletes, Chefs, Comedians, Filmmakers, Mayors, Models, Moguls, Porn Stars, Rockers, Writers, and Others) (New York: Ecco/HarperCollins, 2010)., and In Season: More Than 150 Fresh and Simple Recipes from New York Magazine Inspired by Farmers’ Market Ingredients (New York: Blue Rider Press, 2012).