Cincinnati native Jay Stowe began his career at Smart Magazine in New York in the fall of 1990 as an associate editor. Within three months, Smart folded, and Stowe managed to land a job as an editorial assistant at Esquire, where he worked until 1993. From Esquire he went to Spin, where he edited the front of the book, music and pop culture criticism, and features. In 1995, he joined The New York Observer as a senior editor, where he wrote and reported the Off the Record media column, edited feature stories, and generally had the best time of his life as a journalist so far. (It was even better than being a soda jerk at Graeter’s, which he once was.) In 1999, he took a job with Outside Magazine, serving as features editor and then executive editor until 2004, when he left to edit Cincinnati Magazine. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in history.