David Talbot Returns as Salon’s Interim CEO

As current CEO heads to Google, the site founder’s enters his third stretch at the top

Salon founder David Talbot is stepping back in as the online magazine’s interim CEO – his third stint in that job. Talbot is succeeding Richard Gingras, who announced in June that he would be leaving to head Google’s global news products.

Talbot, a pioneer in the web magazine field, founded Salon back in 1995 and served as its CEO twice before — from 1995 to 1999 and 2003 to 2005. The end of his second spell as CEO also served as the end to his editorship, which he maintained from the site’s inception.

Since then, Talbot has served on Salon’s board of directors, written books and founded a media production company named Talbot Players.

“I think it was the logical move because he’s still very much an advocate of Salon and has always been Salon’s best external booster,” said editor-in-chief Kerry Lauerman. “His coming back was something that literally everyone was pretty excited about.”

Depending on how long he stays in the post, Talbot has a tough job ahead of him. Salon is a respected source of political and cultural coverage, but it has seen numerous other new publications stake out a larger audience. Salon’s various attempts at generating revenue have not had the intended effects, though it has increased traffic substantially in the past year.

“Where the magic number is, no one fully knows, but it’s a great trajectory we’re on,” Lauerman said.

“We’re doing that on a smaller budget and I think that is a pretty winning combination if we can keep growing and keep costs low,” he added.