PC/NYC: Maggie Coughlan ’07
Embedded in the Fabric
Like Times Square, the New York Post is one of those emblematic New York fixtures people love and hate, which Maggie Coughlan ’07 (journalism) knows better than most.
When the Rockland County native attended Purchase, she hoped to become a photo editor or photojournalist, and achieved that goal when she landed a job in hard news at AOL after graduation.
An opportunity fell into her lap, however. AOL tapped her to help launch the now-defunct entertainment news site PopEater.com. A news editor position at people.com followed; then the New York Post approached her to become editor of pagesix.com, the independent online spinoff of its infamous gossip pages.
She jumped at the chance to modernize a New York institution. “I grew up in New York. I read Page Six. It’s my guilty pleasure. And everyone else’s,” she laughs.
“It was kind of the perfect storm. I had experience; this is a newspaper brand that’s been around for more than 200 years and together I felt like we could create something that hasn’t happened before on the Web for the New York Post,” she explains.
She now refers to herself as the ultimate party guest. “The first thing someone says to me after ‘How are you?’ and ‘What do you do?’ is ‘Tell me the truth about this person.’”
The NYC Advantage
While amazing things happen in cities all over the world, New York City is arguably a premier place to be.
The value Purchase College derives from its proximity to the city can’t be overstated. Students learn, perform, find inspiration, and land professional opportunities there.
It’s also a phenomenal human resource pool from which to draw faculty who are working professionals in myriad disciplines. And as the ultimate place to network, it’s teeming with luminaries, prospective collaborators, and, of course, alumni.
According to multiple anecdotal reports, “Purchase people are everywhere,” in New York City.
(A version of this story first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of PURCHASE magazine.)