||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. (February 2012)|
Jeff Koyen is an American journalist, editor and media CEO known for his independent journalism and his two years as editor-in-chief of the legendary, now-defunct alt-weekly New York Press, where he helped launch and/or grow the careers of several now-famous journalists, including Matt Taibbi. Koyen was born in 1969 in suburban New Jersey and currently lives in Venice Beach, CA, where he founded the software startup Assignmint. He is a graduate of Rutgers University. He has worked as a freelance travel and culture writer, filing with Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, New York magazine, Radar, New York Post, New York Press, Penthouse, Wired.com, The Prague Pill, and others. He also founded the writing project 100 Words in 2001.
Koyen was the editor of the zine Crank, from 1994 to 2000. Crank was one of the first printed magazines to be published and distributed free online simultaneously with its printed counterpart. Distribution was offered via FTP and Usenet and, starting in 1994, on the web.
Starting in 1998, he was a contributing writer and production manager at New York Press until he moved to Prague in 2002, where he was hired as associate editor at the expatriate paper, The Prague Pill. In February 2003, he was hired as editor-in-chief of New York Press by new owners. He quit after publishing a controversial article that criticized a then-dying Pope John Paul II.
In October 2007 he was hired as the deputy editor of Forbes Traveler, the luxury travel website published by Forbes; he left in 2009 during a wave of layoffs. In late 2010, he joined Travel + Leisure as online deputy editor, filling in for an editor on maternity leave. Throughout this time, he freelanced for the New York Times, New York magazine and other publications; he was also one of the founding bloggers at True/Slant.
In 2012, with funding from angel investors, Koyen founded the software startup Assignmint, which promises to "change freelance journalism as we know it," according to Fast Company. Editor & Publisher described Assignmint as "a digital location where freelance writers can pitch story ideas and editors can manage invoices with just a click of a button." The New York Times profiled Assignmint in 2013:
It looks as if the futurists from the early days of the Internet got quite a bit wrong when it comes to business online. The idea that no one would pay for music was wrong. No one would buy books was also incorrect. And the idea that writers would have to work free in the face of so-called citizen journalists was inaccurate, too. So many freelance writers are being paid for their work that a start-up firm, Assignmint, has found a place as a middleman, helping put the way writers bill clients and are paid for their freelance jobs into the cloud.
Assignmint opened its private beta test on February 11, 2013.
In March 2005, while serving as the editor-in-chief of the New York Press, Koyen ran a cover story by Matt Taibbi entitled "52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope". The article was widely condemned by Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Matt Drudge, and Abe Foxman, among others, including now-disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner who suggested that New Yorkers take copies of that issue out of their news boxes and destroy them.
The publisher responded to the attacks by demanding that Koyen publicly apologize for the article. Koyen instead chose to resign his position. He went on to defend the story, attacking owner David Unger and publisher Chris Rohland in the media, saying "They couldn't handle the controversy... I didn't expect them to cave in and cower so easily. I'm really surprised they were so spineless."
No apology was ever issued for Taibbi's article.
- "Relax, Everything Will Be Fine". NSFW Corp. April 24, 2013.
- "That was the weekly that was". The Guardian. April 17, 2005.
- "A Non-Alcoholic Takes the Sobriety Test". TheFix.com. May 7, 2013.
- "The New Digital Packrats". Wired. March 7, 2007.
- "Blogging in a Land Where the Press Isn't Free". Wired. April 10, 2007.
- "Old Gray Lady Dons New Clothes". Wired. September 13, 2006.
- "Diesels Are the New Heroin". Wired. June 19, 2006.
- "The Killer Kites of Pakistan". Wired. February 26, 2007.
- "Steal This Look – Will a wave of piracy lawsuits bring down Forever 21?". Radar. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- "The Evil Eye". Fortean Times. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
- "Astral Plane Crash". Fortean Times. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
- "Laos: Out From Under an Opium Cloud". New York Times]. March 5, 2006.
- "In Cambodia, the 'Next Phuket'?". New York Times. April 9, 2006.
- "The Costa Rica Experience Moves Next Door". New York Times. August 19, 2007.
- "Attracted by a Blend of Centuries and Cultures". New York Times. October 14, 2007.
- "Lured by the Beach Side of a Beleaguered Land in Bangladesh". New York Times. December 24, 2006.
- "Get Off the Beach in Trinidad". New York magazine. May 28, 2009.
- "Uncover the New South in Old Savannah". New York magazine. February 18, 2011.
- "See the Contemporary Side of Santa Fe". New York magazine. May 26, 2011.
- "No Ghosts, but Plenty of Charm: Hitting the Haunts in Old Savannah". Travel + Leisure]. December 30, 2010.
"Koyen is certainly a manager who stuck by his writer. Call it the editorial Omerta—the code that required editors to support their writers and editorial staffers in times of crisis. If the staff is taking heat from readers and bloggers, from publicists, or even from the higher-ups at the company, most editors feel they need to circle the wagons, even if it means putting themselves at peril."
"(Koyen's) willingness to slaughter sacred cows appears to be working. It may not seem that way, but Koyen says he is slowly, but surely building a younger readership with an approach which may turn away the older, stodgier readers and critics. Koyen's not mad – he doesn't want them reading anyway."
"'The New York Times' really outdid itself this weekend. Amid the sighs over St. Lucia's proclaimed hotness, Jeff Koyen has piped in from Bangladesh, and finally we can't tease the Times for hyping the over-hyped."
- Green, Peter S. " A Prague Perspective for a New York Newsroom", The New York Times, February 26, 2003. Accessed December 24, 2007.
- "Crank Magazine". Retrieved April 15, 2009.
- Jeff Koyen, Crank, zinebook
- Peter S. Green (February 26, 2003). "A Prague Perspective for a New York Newsroom". The New York Times.
- Forbes Starts a Second Round of Layoffs; Who Else Will Join It?, Peter Kafka, March 31, 2009, Media Memo
- Neal Ungerleider (April 23, 2012). "How Assignmint Will Change Freelance Journalism". Fast Company.
- Nu Yang (July 20, 2012). "From Pitch to Paycheck: New startup Assignmint hopes to change freelance journalism". Editor & Publisher.
- Nick Bilton (May 14, 2013). "Start-Up Hopes to Help Freelance Writers Get Paid". The New York Times.
- LAWRENCE VAN GELDER (March 8, 2005). "New York Press Editor Quits Over Article". The New York Times.
- The Fix (March 8, 2005). Salon.com. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- Kurtz, Howard (March 9, 2005). Who's the Next Dan?. Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- Haber (Mar 7 2005). "Jeff Koyen's Exit Interview". gawker. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
- "Take This Job and Shove It!". Fast Company. =March 8, 2005. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
- "Good editors protect their staff—to a point", mediabistro.com, November 28, 2005
- ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: THE NEW YORK PRESS' JEFF KOYEN., The Black Table
- Bangladesh Is the New Bangladesh, jaunted.com, December 26, 2006