Nuvo names new editor from within after Wenck's departure

June 23, 2016

Indianapolis-based alternative newsweekly Nuvo has chosen its new top editor.

The organization’s new editorial leader is local resident Katherine Coplen, who was hired as Nuvo’s music editor in October 2011.

kat coplen mugKatherine Coplen

Coplen replaces Nuvo’s former managing editor, Ed Wenck, whose last day at the publication was June 17.

Wenck, who had served in that position since late 2013, left Nuvo for a job with Indianapolis-based Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, or CEDIA.

Braden Nicholson, Nuvo’s general manager, told IBJ on Thursday that the publication had received a number of queries from interested outside applicants. Coplen also expressed interest in the job.

“When she stepped forward, it became pretty obvious pretty quickly that she was the right choice,” Nicholson said.

Coplen’s institutional knowledge of the area and the local music scene – an important coverage area for Nuvo – made her the right choice, Nicholson said.

Coplen said she’s “very deeply excited” to take on the new role.

“I think that we’re at a really interesting and exciting and critical time here as a publication,” she said.

Under Wenck’s leadership, Nuvo worked to transform itself on a number of fronts.

The publication has improved its website, journalistic storytelling and print distribution network, Nicholson said. It has also become more “platform-agnostic,” reporting stories online in a timely manner rather than waiting for the next print edition.

Coplen said those initiatives will continue, and she’s working to roll out some additional changes that germinated during Wenck’s tenure. Those changes include a redesign of the print newspaper and a continuing push to add more content online at nuvo.net.

Coming up, Coplen said, readers should also look for “robust” coverage of local and national elections, some new opinion contributors, and local cycling coverage.

“We’re making bold moves and we have a team of people who are really interested in radical experimentation,” Coplen said.

Also on Thursday, Nuvo announced that its editor and publisher, Kevin McKinney, will serve only as publisher going forward. Coplen’s new title is editor, as opposed to the managing editor title Wenck held.

Nicholson said the shift in titles signals that McKinney is not involved in the editorial department on a day-to-day basis.

“We’re sort of acknowledging the role that was evolving anyway,” Nicholson said.

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.

Recent changes to the publication, Nicholson told IBJ earlier this month, have halted Nuvo’s circulation declines. It's starting to see increases in both the percentage of people who pick up a copy of the free newspaper, and in the number of papers it prints.

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