"Jim Bankoff was already fascinated, even a bit obsessed, by the media when he was in the third grade. As a class project, he developed his own make-believe TV network, complete with 24-hour program grid. ‘It had something for kids, something for adults and something about the Yankees,’ he recalls."
To learn more about what’s become of Jim’s obsession with the media and how it has informed his role at Vox Media, read the full Washington Post profile.
Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post
At the end of January, Melissa Bell, Matt Yglesias, and Ezra Klein announced they were coming to Vox Media to reimagine the way we all think about the news. Today, just a couple months later, we’re sharing their vision with the world. Vox.com is now live.
Melissa, Matt, and Ezra are best at explaining what they’re up to, so make sure you start with their post, Welcome to Vox: a work in progress, for all the details.
And for an outside look at the talent and culture that made it all possible, check out today’s New York Times piece.
During his keynote speech at the 15th International Symposium on Online Journalism, CEO Jim Bankoff shared his thoughts about Vox Media’s talent, the principles that drive the company, and our modern media stack—Chorus. You can find more coverage of Jim’s talk, and a Storify of some of the highlights, here.
It’s only been a few months since we welcomed Racked, Eater, and Curbed to the Vox Media family, but we already have big plans to expand the signature coverage of all three brands in exciting new ways. And today, Eater is welcoming three new critics to the team:
Ryan Sutton, talented restaurant reviewer and data geek at Bloomberg, is joining as Eater’s head critic in New York.
Bill Addison, esteemed restaurant critic at Atlanta Magazine, is coming on board in the new position of Restaurant Editor.
Eater NY favorite Robert Sietsema is joining Eater full time to handle the video series Sietsema’s Secrets, columns, and regular reviews.
For a more comprehensive update on what else is happening at Eater and why Eater is ready to take on restaurant reviews, check out Eater Editorial Director, Amanda Kludt’s full announcement.
It was just over a month ago that Melissa, Matt, and Ezra announced they were heading to Vox Media. It turns out their homage to The Verge’s temporary home also contained a little foreshadowing. Today we’re thrilled to announce Vox. The team at Vox is in the business of explaining the news, so head over to Vox.com for a look at what they have planned.
Vox will be the seventh vertical published by Vox Media, alongside SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, and Racked. Each site is a distinct entity under Vox Media. Think: Time Inc. publishes Time, but also People, Sports Illustrated, and In Style.
We’ve been hammering away on this project and we’re excited to show you what our vision for a 21st century general news site looks like.
Meanwhile, everyone across Vox Media will be hard at work getting ready to launch the site and telling incredible stories across all six of our other verticals.
For ongoing updates and to stay in touch with the Vox team, follow @voxdotcom on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Cyd Zeigler, managing editor of SB Nation’s Outsports, recently appeared on Face the Nation and This Week to talk about his exclusive story on the lead up to Michael Sam’s coming out announcement. The SB Nation team wrote about Cyd’s work over at Blog Huddle, and everyone at Vox is just as proud of all that Cyd and Jim Buzinski are accomplishing with their coverage.
In another interview with Chris Lingebach of CBS DC, Cyd explained why this is such a huge story:
It’s the most important gay sports story ever, and it will end up being one of the five, maybe even the most important coming out ever, because of the role the NFL plays in our culture. But I think beyond just that, it’s going to be the biggest sports story of the year. This is a year-long story. We are going to be talking about this, and certainly not all the time, but we’re going to talk about it again in two weeks during the [NFL] Combine, and then a month later at his pro day, and then six weeks later at the [NFL] Draft, and then OTAs, training camp, preseason.
Watch Outsports for further developments in Michael Sam’s story and the best gay sports coverage in the galaxy.
Last Thursday, Vox CEO Jim Bankoff sat down with Sarah Lacy at PandoMonthly to talk about recent developments at Vox and where he sees the company heading in the future. Their lively chat covered the business of building a major media brand, how not to rely too heavily on social media, and several assessments of the media industry.
“The whole Internet content industry and the whole Internet advertising industry has been racing to the bottom,” Jim said. “At Vox Media we want to race to the top.”
Later, Sarah asked where Vox fits in with the rest of the media industry. Jim’s response was enthusiastic: “You have quality on one end, and you have scale on the other end. You’re saying there’s no one in the top box of quality at scale I’m saying that’s the box that we want to occupy and that we’re well on our way to occupying.”
Many thanks to Sarah and the team for inviting Jim and taking care of him through hellish weather conditions. You can watch the whole conversation at PandoDaily.
Ezra Klein, Matt Ygelsias, and Melissa Bell see an opportunity to reimagine what it means to be a news property in the digital era. We share that vision at Vox, and that’s why we’re all working together to build something the digital world hasn’t seen before. If you haven’t yet, you can read Ezra’s announcement of Project X on the Verge.
Understandably, the announcement is generating a lot of excitement. David Carr at The New York Times put the project in context:
Everything at Vox, from the way it covers subjects, the journalists it hires and the content management systems on which it produces news, is optimized for the current age.
“It is not as simple as journalists going to a digital site and doubling their salary,” said Jim Bankoff, chief executive of Vox. “Many of these people, including Ezra, have a vision of creating something remarkable. There is a better way of doing things and we like to think that we are using technology in service of creativity, journalism and storytelling.”
In an interview with AdAge, Jim explains how Project X is much more than just a “newsier Wikipedia” and talks about its potential audience:
Interestingly while this will cover new topics in different voice and structure, from an audience perspective we expect this will be comparable to the other Vox Media brands’ audiences. What all of these audiences have in common are they are sophisticated, web-savvy audiences that are consuming digital media natively. They either grew up on the web or the web is their primary vehicle for consuming news and information. So it’s a modern audience, and we expect this will be too. The editorial team grew up in digital. That’s the only thing they’ve known, and that is consistent with all of our brands too. We have editors that are facile in this medium.
And Brian Stelter at CNNMoney spoke with Jim about the business behind Project X:
We work with brand marketers, leveraging our technology, design and other capabilities to help them tell their stories to digital audiences at scale. We expect this site, like the others at Vox will garner a large, digitally savvy audience and feature high quality integrated advertising.
If you share in all this excitement and want to be part of building the single best resource for news consumers anywhere, check out our jobs listings.
Okay, we’re a little late with the well-wishing, but it’s been a busy 7 months at Vox. Since our last blog post we welcomed Racked, Eater, and Curbed into the Vox Media family; helped our readers through the holidays; and reflected on an incredible 2013.
We had no plans of slowing in the New Year. We were heads-down, busy building exciting new experiences for our growing audiences. And then Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Melissa Bell announcing that Vox would be their next.
As of our last blog post, Vox was publishing 3 exciting, authoritative verticals. We’re about to make it 7. It’s an exciting time at Vox, so stay tuned for more updates.
It’s been an exciting month at Vox Media. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new ad products that we believe are game changers in the media and publishing space. Tim Peterson at AdAge captured it well:
"Our ambition is to really invent the future of brand advertising on the web," said Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff.
The ads — collectively dubbed “Fishtank” for their depth — adapt the full-page spread into a full-screen takeover, but rather than overtaking the page, they show up while scrolling, like how magazine ads appear while flipping through the pages. “Scroll is the new page turn,” said Vox Media COO Marty Moe.
Check out the new products here.
You can read the rest of the AdAge story here.
Hello, we are the Vox Media product team. We are designers, developers, operations engineers, and product and community managers, based in Washington, DC, New York, and Austin, and distributed remotely in cities from Santa Barbara, California to Springfield, Missouri.