Ed Wenck, the managing editor of longtime local alternative newsweekly Nuvo, said he’s leaving this month after less than three years on the job as part of a calculated move to step out of the media spotlight.
His last day at Nuvo will be June 17. On June 20, he’ll begin a new job as content marketing manager at the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, or CEDIA.
The Indianapolis-based organization represents 3,700 member companies worldwide and more than 30,000 industry professionals that manufacture, design, and integrate home-technology goods and services.
That's a "super-fancy way of saying 'writer guy for the home tech industry,'" Wenck wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. "Yep, I get to write about gear every day."
In an interview with IBJ on Wednesday, Wenck said the move “will give me an opportunity to live somewhat of a private life.”
Recent family losses played a large role in his decision. His mother died last month, and his father and stepfather both died within the past two years.
The managing editor's position puts him in the public eye, and interacting with readers – especially in the rough-and-tumble world of social media – is part of the job. However, after his recent personal losses, Wenck decided it was time to step away from the spotlight.
“Sometimes, when you’re coping with things on the home front, you don’t have a thick enough skin to also deflect public criticism," he said.
Wenck said he leaves Nuvo at a time when the publication is “thriving,” with print circulation and online readership both on the rise.
According to Nuvo’s website, the publication has a weekly print and online readership of more than 86,000. Print circulation for the free publication, which includes the Indianapolis metro area and Bloomington, is about 33,000.
Wenck worked as a radio personality and stand-up comedian before joining the staff of the alternative weekly news outlet in late 2013. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wenck opened for comedians including Drew Carey, Ray Romano and Dennis Miller.
He eventually got into radio. He hosted WIBC's afternoon slot from 2010 to 2013 after building a local fan base over several years as part of the “Wank & O’Brien” show on Emmis Communication Corp.'s country station WLHK-FM 97.1.
In March 2013, he walked away from the microphone to work in sales for Emmis. He took the job at Nuvo six months later, replacing managing editor Jim Poyser, who had been in the position for 13 years.
Nuvo General Manager Braden Nicholson credited Wenck with helping transform the organization.
Nicholson said Nuvo now takes a more “platform-agnostic” approach, reporting stories online as they happen rather than waiting for print. The publication has also improved its website, its journalistic storytelling and its print distribution network, Nicholson said.
“In the last year especially, we’ve really picked up steam.”
Circulation declines have halted, Nicholson said. Nuvo has started to see increases in both the number of papers it prints and the percentage of readers who pick up a copy of the free publication.
As it searches for a new managing editor, Nuvo will be looking for someone who can continue that momentum.
The ideal candidate, Nicholson said, would be someone who is digitally savvy, has a commitment to watchdog journalism and is a champion for the Indianapolis area. Nuvo will consider both internal and external candidates.
“We will cast a wide net looking for just the right person," Nicholson said.