Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie Is Stepping Down

Chris Kaskie at the 2015 Web Summit on Nov. 5, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images

Chris Kaskie at the 2015 Web Summit on Nov. 5, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.

His move comes a little over a year-and-a-half since Conde Nast bought the music media company.

Calling the decision "bittersweet," longtime Pitchfork president Chris Kaskie announced on Tuesday (May 30) he'll be leaving the Conde Nast-owned media company later this summer after 14 years. Kaskie posted his handwritten memo to Pitchfork staff on Twitter, saying the decision to leave was "wholly my own, but I do so with a supreme amount of confidence and comfort in all that will come next for both of us."

Kaskie said his last day will be July 21, which falls a week after the Pitchfork Music Festival wraps at Chicago's Union Park. "I plan to hang around thorough the festival, celebrating with you the music, friends, family and relishing in the achievement. After, that's when we'll part for real," he said.

Fourteen years at a 21-year-old company is a monumental feat in today's job-hopping media landscape, so Kaskie's earnest note reads more like a letter to close family, rather than a bunch of co-workers. "I joined you at the beginning, a fresh-ish-faced 23 year old, and we grew up together. We survived the various ups and downs, and arrived at the present scathed, but better. Now here you are, a brand, publication, festival, and a legacy of people, at the top of its game. And here I am, a not-so-fresh-faced 37 year old, still inspired by you daily and by the people that push you forth."

Kaskie does not mention what his future holds, other than spending more time with his wife and kids.

"I will miss you, and everybody who keeps your torches lit and cups full, very much," he said. "I see what we pulled off as a benchmark for whatever comes next for me as a professional. I will strive to surround myself with people like those I've been surrounded by with you. People devoted to doing something that means something. I'll stop at nothing short of accomplishing this reality again."

Pitchfork was founded in 1996 by Minnesota native Ryan Schreiber, who quickly relocated the publication to Chicago, where it is still headquartered. It also has offices in NYC and Los Angeles. In a surprise move, the company was acquired in 2015 by publishing giant Conde Nast. Speaking with Billboard at the time, Kaskie remained optimistic. "Y'know, the thing that makes me really proud is that we've built a brand that we feel passionate about," he said. "Our audiences trust in that, and its reflective of our feelings."

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