On Monday, the Huffington Post will formally announce two recent additions to its team from the New York Times and the BBC that, executives say, confirm Huffpo’s ability to attract top talent.
Jason Fields, former head of User Experience and Design at BBC, joined HuffPo two weeks ago as head of User Experience & Product, overseeing design across the website’s online and mobile platforms. Andrei Scheinkman, currently Interactive News developer at The New York Times, will join HuffPo in six weeks as editor of Interactive News, building a small team to oversee data-driven interactive features.
“We’ve always wanted to make Huffington Post a talent magnet,” president and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington said. “We didn’t have the resources to do it the way we’re doing it now. And to be able to afford to bring in Andrei and Jason… is a key part of us rounding out our journalism and our user engagement.”
HuffPo has hired 140 staffers so far this year, and plans to bring on another 40. But both Huffington and CTO Paul Berry seem particularly excited about Fields and Scheinkman given their résumés. Scheinkman in particular offers a symbolic victory to HuffPo—another hire from the Times in the wake of outgoing Times Executive Editor Bill Keller's recent accusations that Huffington's website was an aggregation service, rather than a legitimate news organization.
Scheinkman will, he told Adweek, be building a team of 3 to 5 programmers and journalists whose initial work will be heavily centered around the 2012 election season.
Fields will inherit a team focused on improving the design and user experience across HuffPo’s platforms, including mobile applications. In two weeks, he has already made small changes to the site’s design and will launch a new social navigation tool in the days ahead. Huffington said that Fields also designed the front page for Huffington Post Canada, which launched in May, and Huffington Post England, which will launch in July.
“If Andrei is working with data and figuring out awesome, interactive ways to bring stories out of that,” Berry said, “then Jason and his group will be making it beautiful.”