Sarah Bray, Editor-in-Chief, Gotham Magazine
Get to know Sarah Bray, the newly-appointed Editor-in-Chief
of Gotham magazine and Style and Social Director of Hamptons magazine. Formerly
Style Writer at Town & Country, Sarah shares her take on the challenges
facing magazine publications today, plus an editor’s tip for making story
pitches stand out.
What will your role at Gotham & Hamptons magazines entail?
Modern Luxury encompasses 84 titles across the country. I’ll be editor-in-chief of the media company’s New York City-focused publication Gotham and during the summer I’ll be working in Southampton as the Style & Social Director of Hamptons magazine.
How did you come to take on this new position?
Change is always a good thing! This position came about at the right time in my life and I’m looking forward to focusing on two communities I love, New York City and the Hamptons.
How did you get your start in the industry and what’s been your path to the position you currently have?
I’m a proud Texan but admittedly moved to New York City as quickly as I could. While a student at SMU in Dallas, I spent summers in New York City interning at Vogue and The New York Times. After graduation, I worked at Neiman Marcus corporate as a writer for The Book and social media editor for the retailer's 42 stores and e-commerce sites. In 2013, I moved to New York City to work as an editor for Hearst’s Veranda magazine. Then quickly was promoted to be an editor across Hearst’s three shelter titles: Veranda, House Beautiful, and Elle Décor. In 2015, I moved within Hearst to Town & Country, where I covered all things style—from parties and people to fashion and decorating.
What have been some of the highlights of your career thus far?
For Town & Country, highlights included covering last year’s Inaugural Balls in D.C., traveling to India to do a story on jeweler Nirav Modi, and driving a vintage Porche through the French counrtyside in a women-only road rally. At the Hearst Design Group, I loved shooting and styling home tours, favorites include features on Miles Redd, Jeremiah Goodman, and Indre Rockefeller’s homes.
Do you have any tips for people pitching you stories? What type of content are you looking for?
Email or Instagram DM is preferred. I really don't like texting (so weird, I know!)! I’m constantly checking email and even if I’m not responding immediately, I am filing the pitches in my head and will search through my inbox and circle back later when there is the right space or an angle seems relevant. When I receive a pitch, I always look at the images first. If the images catch my attention then I will read the pitch.
What are some of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing a magazine publication in the current climate?
Standing out and having a strong point of view. There is so much content out there... readers have Instagram and the internet where they can access anything, so now more than ever magazines have to provide something so beautiful and special that readers want to keep it on their coffee tables and bookshelves forever.