Fishbowl Five: Lindsay Powers, Yahoo Parenting Editorial Director

"I would hate to not be able to parent my own child because I'm parenting a parenting magazine."

Lindsay-Powers

Yahoo Parenting launched in October 2014 as one of several new targeted verticals Yahoo has rolled out over the past few months, the latest being Yahoo Autos. It’s clear the idea is to rule the online space on various high-traffic subjects. A smart move, natch. Yahoo Parenting is already leading the parenting category, with an average of 16 million monthly unique visitors, thanks, in part, to editorial director Lindsay Powers, who was promoted from senior lifestyle homepage editor at Yahoo. She’d previously been the online deputy editor at The Hollywood Reporter, and while on staff at Us Weekly oversaw the creation of the “Moms & Babies” channel on UsMagazine.com.

“It’s been so awesome to see how we’ve already shot to the top of comScore in such a short amount of time, and I think that we’ll only keep going up,” said Powers. Here, she answers five questions on covering celebrity kids, balancing work/life and more.

FBNY: What are your goals for Yahoo Parenting?

Powers: Our mission behind this site is to have a little bit of fun, be provocative and not [stir up] controversy for controversy’s sake, but to raise questions that keep parents up at night and to answer them [via] trustworthy experts. And it’s really important that we do it in a way that’s nonjudgmental because I do feel like sometimes the parenting space can get a little judge-y and we don’t want to go there.

I also think there are a lot of [publications] out there geared only towards one small subset of parents. I want our stories to resonate with people that may not even have kids — people that have teenagers, tweens, kids, babies, moms, dads, grandparents, everyone in between. It’s important for us to have a good space dedicated to that kind of coverage. Parenthood is the great connector; it doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity, if you’re a normal Joe like me, I think we can all come together with our desire to do the best we can for our children and for our families.

FBNY: So what are the keys to engaging parenting content?

Powers: It’s a good mix of stories. You want newsy stories, you want some serious stuff, you want some things that will make you think, you want some things that will make you smile, something that you can look at while you’re eating lunch at your desk or when you have a couple of minutes to spare. You want something that would open your eyes. I love to do stories about studies. We did one recently about the way you can prevent peanut allergies in children.

Also, [as part of] National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, we decided to cover a 10-year-old who had an eating disorder. So we published two essays, side by side, and one was from the 10-year-old’s point of view in dealing with this eating disorder and one was from the mother’s point of view. Because I don’t think you often hear from both sides of things, and a child’s point of view is just as important and interesting.

FBNY: Tell us about your typical workday.

Powers: I tend to start my hours really early. And that’s not only because my toddler son is up at the crack of dawn every day, but I’m in the office by 8 in the morning at the latest. I’m really hands on. I like to talk to my team about what’s trending, what stories we should cover. And then my first order of business is to put together our story budget for the day and get our lineup going. And then it could be any number of things. I’m in and out of meetings. I might have to go out and do a big presentation in front of our entire company and our CEO. I may have an event in the afternoon. But then, ultimately, as a parent I do have to leave between 4 and 5 to do the daycare dash, as I call it. And then a lot times it’s back to work later that evening after [my son’s] bedtime and dinner. I think that spending time with family is really important, and I would hate to not be able to parent my own child because I’m parenting a parenting magazine.

FBNY: Many celebrities, such as Kristen Bell, have been vocal about the line that some journalists cross when they include celebrity children in their stories. How do you handle this fine line in your coverage?

Powers: When we cover celebrity children, we take the lead from the parents themselves. Like, if Christina Aguilera and her daughter are on the cover of People, that seems a fair story for us to cover. We were looking at some photos published [the other day] that were, what I call, super stalky of the backyard of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s home, and it was like North West’s playground equipment, and that’s something we would not have covered because those photos seem to be intruding on privacy. But, you know, when a celebrity’s on the red carpet with their child, when they’re speaking out publicly about them, when they approach us to do an interview, I just feel that’s something that would be totally fine for us to include in our coverage.

FBNY: Where’s your favorite spot in New York City to take your son?

Powers: J.J. Byrne [Playground] in our Park Slope neighborhood is our hangout. And my son also loves museums. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum. He really likes MoMA. He has a thing for Monet; he will look at [his paintings] for quite a long time. He also loves the subway. He hasn’t learned that in New York we don’t make eye contact with strangers, so he loves to talk to people and say hi and touch them on the subway for fun.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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