Grantland culture editor Emily Yoshida recently indicated she was leaving the acclaimed Bill Simmons operation. Today, FishbowlNY can exclusively reveal her new professional home.
Yoshida has accepted the challenge of building out The Verge’s coverage of film, TV, music and related matters as entertainment editor. To do so, she will be relocating from Los Angeles to New York. Her last day at Grantland is Friday; she starts at The Verge November 17.
“This will be my first New York job, ever,” Yoshida tells us via telephone, on the call together with The Verge’s recently promoted editor-in-chief Nilay Patel. “I’m completely excited about it.”
Patel says The Verge gave Yoshida the choice of staying in LA but she chose moving to NYC, mainly because of the logistics of her wide-ranging new responsibilities. “I couldn’t be talking on Skype to all these people every day while launching new verticals,” she says with a laugh. “Being in the same room is obviously the preferable way to work.”
The Verge is currently registering just under 31 million monthly uniques, powered by a staff of around 45-50. Traffic is up not just 90% year-over-year, but also during the first three months of Patel’s EIC shepherding. The perfect time, he argues, to move beyond the site’s core technology coverage.
“Movies, film, TV, music, books… They are all being vastly affected by technological change,” he notes. “Some of the most popular stuff we do is right at the intersection of tech and lifestyles and entertainment. And Emily has a great sense for talking about this stuff natively.”
“We’re giving her the keys to an entire hub on our site,” Patel adds. “She will have a lot of resources at her disposal.”
Patel describes The Verge as a brand for “people who love new things, new experiences and who are deeply invested in experiencing the future.” In terms of old and new(er) media, he says the site is trying to emulate the likes of Rolling Stone and Wired.
Echoes Yoshida: “We don’t want to be just another a regurgitator of the same entertainment stories. We also want to pull from all of The Verge’s resources [Chorus, Vox Studios…] to rethink coverage and put together a really unique experience.”
“One thing I was privileged to be a part of at Grantland is that while each writer there has a defined beat, they are also part of separate, ongoing conversations about other things they feel passionate about,” Yoshida adds. “So for example, at The Verge, even if we didn’t hire someone to write about hip-hop, if that person has a really strong take about that, there will be freedom to explore it. That’s something I’m really excited to be able to apply to The Verge.”
When asked about her plans for film criticism, Yoshida says there may not even be under her entertainment editorship a conventional critic. Like everything else at her new home, that purview is on the verge of major reconsideration.
[Photo courtesy: The Verge]