RW adds to staff with Matt Gross, Digital Director, Marissa Stephenson, Deputy Editor and Brian Dalek, Senior Digital Editor


Runners World has been the focus of many in the running community since its inception. Somewhere in my archives, I have the first issue. I have always been grateful for my time at Runners World, 1981-1987, as it opened my opportunities in the media world.

1971may.jpg1971 cover of Runners World, courtesy of RW

My affection for the magazine has grown over the decades. My respect for the absolutely hard work of keeping a media culture vibrant and successful goes for Runner's World and Rodale Press.

A serious running publication in its early days, the average RW reader today is a woman, who sees running as a daily act of living. As the age demographic goes up, how does RW attract young runners, and more performance based runners? Former editor, Amby Burfoot once told me that we did not publish the magazine for ourselves, we published it for our readers. Sage advice for then, and now.

2014october.jpgOctober 2014, a recent redesign

But, how do you breathe new life and new growth into a cultural icon? That is Betty Wong Ortiz's job as Editor in Chief for RW. Her picks of Matt Gross Marissa Stephenson and Brian Dalek shows the level of professionalism that Ms. Ortiz considers in rebuilding her new challenge.

The media world is in an evolutionary spin right now, and so is Runner's World and Rodale. At RW, Betty Wong Ortiz, the new Editor in Chief, is bringing in key people to build the RW culture. Where will the magazine go in the future?

Stay tuned.

Reaching out on behalf of Runner's World to share an announcement made by Editor in Chief Betty Wong Ortiz: Matt Gross has joined the brand as digital director; Marissa Stephenson has been named deputy editor; and Brian Dalek has been promoted to senior digital editor.

Matt Gross_Runner's World_headshot (September 2017).jpgMatt Gross, Digital Director, RW, photo from RW

  • In his new role as Digital Director, Matt Gross will oversee content across Runner's World's digital platforms, including, newsletters and social media channels. Most recently, he was freelance writing and working as the Editor-in-Chief of Panna, a video-recipe startup that hosts online classes from world-class chefs. He helped relaunch News Corp's, and also previously served as the editor of Before that, Gross spent time as the New York Times' Frugal Traveler columnist, a contributing writer at Afar magazine, and has written for dozens of publications, including New York Magazine, Men's Journal, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Bloomberg. His travel memoir, The Turk Who Loved Apples, was published in 2013.

Marissa Stephenson_Headshot_Runner's World (September 14 2017).jpgMarissa Stephenson, photo from RW

  • As Deputy Editor, Marissa Stephenson will be responsible for providing editorial direction across Runner's World's platforms and acting as a liaison between digital and print, as well as executing content and brand strategy to build readership. Prior, Stephenson served as articles editor at American Media's Men's Journal, where she spent three and a half years building the brand's fitness, health and nutrition coverage across print and digital, as well as editing feature packages, profiles, and investigative pieces. She has more than a decade of expertise in service journalism, having previously served as a fitness and health editor at both Self and Shape. Stephenson is also a certified personal trainer and kettlebell instructor.

Brian Dalek - RW headshot (September 18 2016).JPGBrian Dalek, photo from RW

  • With his promotion to senior digital editor, Brian Dalek will be responsible for helping grow Runner's World's audience and engagement across its digital platforms through dynamic content and new e-commerce opportunities. Dalek originally joined Rodale in 2011 on Men's Health's editorial team before joining Runner's World as a digital editor.

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