Former NYT Magazine editor becomes Apple News chief

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Apple News
Can Apple News become a big deal?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has hired Lauren Kern, one of New York Magazine’s most high-ranking editors and a former deputy editor at The New York Times Magazine, to work on Apple News as its first-ever editor-in-chief.

Politico, which reported the hire, says it is “unclear what exactly the role will entail.”

The Apple News iOS app launched back in 2015 as an aggregation service for discovering and letting readers check out news content from a variety of different publishers. Apple itself doesn’t actually publish news, which means that an editorial role is not exactly the same as it would be for a regular magazine. However, choosing which content is promoted and highlighted is a job that a human editor might be used for.

This is what Apple has done with Apple Music, where it talks up the importance of expert hand curation rather than just relying on algorithms.

Thus far, Apple News has been a bit of a disappointment for users. When Apple made the decision to take on Flipboard with Apple News, hopes were high — but since then it seems to have struggled to gain much momentum. Early on, publishers complained about the amount of traffic they were getting. Since then, some of those complaints have died down, but Apple News certainly isn’t a service lots of people are talking about.

Maybe an established editor can help change that?