When Lew Harris in 2014 exited TheWrap, where he had been managing editor, he planned to stay retired. After a long string of professional success at movies.com, E! Entertainment Television, Los Angeles magazine and several other media perches, he took up photography and exhibited some of his work at a gallery in Palm Springs launched by former E! colleague Ted Casablanca (a.k.a. Bruce Bibby). Then GoodEveryDay.com came along.
“The site is sort of the dream child of a Beverly Hills realtor, Mark Wollman,” Harris tells FishbowlNY via telephone. “The idea has been germinating with him since 2002. He’s always felt that there’s too much negative news and there needs to be a site that is dedicated to positive news.”
“We hooked up, and we agreed that there are already some sites that do positive news, like Upworthy and HelloGiggles,” he adds. “We did not want to replicate that. We wanted to have a site that was really news that had a little bit of personality and tone to it, and didn’t pat itself on the back. The idea is to have a little bit of fun with it. You’re not going to feel like you’re in some do-good site.”
GoodEveryDay will launch at the beginning of March, with an initial mix that will include curated content. Working at an office in Sherman Oaks alongside editor in chief Harris is managing editor Diane Garrett, his former colleague at TheWrap, and a small team of writers. The site will include an organic network of bloggers and a search for silver linings whenever a major negative news event occurs.
“One thing we talk about is when the Paris terrorist attacks happened,” says Harris. “Think of all those stories about Parisians opening their homes to strangers. That’s a positive way to get to that story. We want to be current.”
Harris is stepping into a purview tackled most notably locally by GOOD and Participant Media’s Take Part. On the heels of a year dominated by waves of international bad news and in the midst of a highly negative U.S. presidential election campaign.
“We’ll have some of the viral videos,” Harris admits. “But my thought is really, I want to do it with news. I want to not just have somebody see and engage with a cute video. Click and then come to the site and then, you know, move on to the next cute video. I want people to come to the site and look around, and say, ‘This is something I want to visit every day.'”
Backer Wollman is aligned with Hilton & Hyland, one of the preeminent real estate firms on L.A.’s westside. The company most recently made news with a certain $200 million residential listing in Holmby Hills.