MTV Video Music Awards
Former Vevo Exec to Lead High Times Magazine
This ain't your stoner cousin's High Times. The magazine dedicated to serving the interests of marijuana enthusiasts is booming, thanks to the ever-expanding -- and increasingly legalized -- cannabis industry it covers. In the past few years ad pages are way up, revenue has doubled, and earnings before taxes have tripled. Its website, HighTimes.com, attracts 1.5 million unique visitors a month.
To build on this growth -- and keep ahead of other related trade publications like Marijuana Venture and MG magazine -- High Times and its owner, Trans-High Corporation (THC, nooice) has hired former Vevo executive David Kohl as its new chief executive, The Wall Street Journal reports. Veteran director Michael Kennedy, who will now be chairman, said the magazine has to keep changing with the times.
"The more the industry becomes legal, the more you are going to see those trade magazines coming, and they are focusing less on the hobbyist and treating this is as the real industry it is becoming," Samir Husni, the director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, told the Journal. "Either High Times will have to adjust to the new landscape or they will be dead."
Kohl was the top sales executive at Vevo until he left the music video company in April 2013. He joined Vevo in 2009 as executive vice president of sales and customer operations to get the company off the ground. He was most recently an adviser to Microsoft and NBCUniversal and previously held sales positions at Nokia and was a vp for Viacom's MTV and Comedy Central channels.
Kohl said he plans on revamping High Times’ website and will work to expand its events business and licensing deals. He called the pot business a “new frontier” and said High Times must continue to innovate.
Correction, 4:21PM, Sept. 29: This article originally misattributed a quote to High Times chairman Michael Kennedy -- the quote was given to the Wall Street Journal by Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi.