Mike Williams appointed Sight & Sound’s new Editor-in-chief

The ex-Editor-in-Chief of NME is hired to take Sight & Sound into the next stage of its evolution.

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Credit: Photography by Dean Chalkley

Mike Williams has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of Sight & Sound, the leading monthly film magazine and website published by the BFI, offering readers in the UK and around the world in depth insight, criticism and reviews of the best of UK and international filmmaking.

Williams, who will join Sight & Sound in August, brings extensive award-winning experience from the world of cross-platform publishing. As Editor-in-Chief of NME he was responsible for transitioning the leading music publication into a digital-first brand and its output across digital, print, events and commercial partnerships. Under Williams’ leadership the title achieved record revenues, print circulation and digital growth as well as staging the brand’s three most successful NME Awards; in recognition of his work, Williams was awarded the British Society of Magazine Editors’ (BSME) Editor of the Year award. Most recently, Williams has been leading the London office of Time Out as UK Managing Editor, overseeing and directing cross-platform content.  He also appears regularly on BBC, ITV and Sky as a commentator and has hosted radio shows and audience panels.

Sight & Sound is the long established, leading editorial voice for film culture in the UK and beyond and plays a part in the BFI’s cultural strategy for developing audiences for UK and international, historical and contemporary film, television and the moving image. 

Heather Stewart, BFI Creative Director says: “Mike’s experience as an editor, his track record in taking new and established titles into a digital-first future and his passion for film and television makes him a perfect choice to take Sight & Sound into the next stage of its evolution.  We have great writers with a deep understanding of film and its context, and whilst we are committed to print and online, forging a new and dynamic relationship between the two is critical for reaching today’s readers and audiences.  We look forward to Mike joining the team and capitalising on the magnificent legacy of Sight & Sound to grow its audience.”

Mike Williams says: “I’m incredibly honoured to be given the responsibility of taking Sight & Sound forward. As an avid reader of the magazine since my teens, I owe a lot of my passion for film to the work of Nick James and his teams over the past two decades. I intend to carry on that work: inspiring the next generation of moving-image buffs and engaging the dyed-in-the-wool fanatics with great stories and incisive analysis across every platform for our audience. At their best, magazine brands are lifelines to people. They’re a ready-made community with a ready-made sense of belonging, vital in inspiring dreams and ambitions. I can’t wait to start working with Heather Stewart, the BFI and the brilliant team at Sight & Sound to develop the brand, unlock its amazing potential and grow that community.” 

Williams takes up his role following the announcement made last month by Nick James, the magazine’s editor for the past 21 years, to step down and pursue new opportunities as a freelance writer. 

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