Karen Lincoln Michel

Michel: Madison Magazine's changes at the top

The day I became a published writer stands out as a career high for me. It was a gigantic feat, given that a former boss once called my writing atrocious. His comment didn’t hold me back from pursuing a journalism degree, or from becoming a news reporter and eventually being named a top editor — another standout day. As I write this final editor’s column (to assume the dual role as this magazine’s publisher and executive editor), I know I am passing the torch to someone who cares deeply about the editorial integrity of this magazine and will place her unique mark on its pages.

Andrea “Andie” Behling started at the magazine in January 2015, two months before I arrived. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, she worked at the Janesville Gazette before joining Madison Magazine as the associate web editor with oversight of the magazine’s dining content. Her excellent organizational skills combined with her strong writing and editing capabilities made her a great fit as managing editor, a role she has held since May 2016. She set the tone and voice for the magazine’s social media accounts and has grown our Instagram followers to more than 16,500 through entertaining and visually creative posts. As a millennial, she will bring a fresh perspective to the role of editor and will connect with younger audiences, which is an important goal of the magazine.

In addition to welcoming a new editor, our longtime art director Tim Burton becomes our creative director. He earned that title through the many projects he leads for our company, including designing the News 3 Now logo for WISC-TV, and his status as an award-winning designer. These are more than changes in job titles. They are rewards for stellar work.

In my redefined role as executive editor, I will continue to set the editorial direction of the magazine. As publisher, I will focus on providing compelling reasons for the Madison community to subscribe to our publication and advertise with us. I approach my publisher’s role with the curiosity of a journalist and the spirit of an entrepreneur, so be prepared for new opportunities to engage with the magazine. 

It is with a touch of nostalgia that I let go of this monthly column, First Words. The title is the yin to the yang of John Roach’s Final Word. But it has also been a subliminal reference to my heritage as a first American. I shared some of my Ho-Chunk perspectives with readers over my four years as editor, and I considered that opportunity a privilege.

Join me in celebrating this announcement of changes at the top. It’s another standout day.


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