Wired abandons cult base for mainstream

SAN FRANCISCO: Wired, once the hottest magazine of the '90s, is recruiting a range of new staff to broaden the readership of the futuristic hi-tech magazine.

SAN FRANCISCO: Wired, once the hottest magazine of the '90s, is recruiting a range of new staff to broaden the readership of the futuristic hi-tech magazine.

Joining the San Francisco-based title are Michael Noer, founder and Silicon Valley bureau chief of Forbes Digital Media, along with Alex Heard, a New York Times Magazine section editor who will become senior writer.

Another addition is Warren St. John, who joined from the satirical New York Observer. Thomas Schneider was promoted to become design director.

The nine-year-old bible of the digerati was acquired by Advance Publications' magazine arm Conde Nast, for an estimated $80 million in May 1998. Since Wired Ventures founders Jane Metcalfe and Louis Rossetto sold their interest in the magazine, a number of the staff have quit.

The magazine is now headed by editor-in-chief Katrina Heron. Heron has beefed up business and TV coverage. A perfect marriage of business and hi-tech is seen in the December issue's feature on the AOL, Netscape and Sun Microsystem alliance.

The magazine is also going for a more mainstream image, with Wired writer Bob Parks scheduled to appear on Regis and Cathy Lee to demonstrate new technology products from his Fetish section of the magazine.

Wired confirmed that cult writer Nicholas Negroponte, who had helped create the magazine, had quit the title, along with senior editor Spencer Reiss who left in September. But magazine executives were unable to confirm reports that New York based contributing editor Stephen Bodow has also quit.

Shelley Tatum, director of media relations, said: 'Nicholas is leaving on an amicable basis. He just wanted to do something else.

'We want to get rid of the image that we are hard to understand and are elitist. We want to interest everybody,' added Tatum.

She also denied speculation that Conde Nast was planning to move the magazine to New York. Wired has its own New York office separate from Conde Nast's Times Square building.

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