The Awl Plans Official Launch, Names New Editors

Hires from BuzzFeed and The New Yorker

Despite The Awl’s five years of existence on the Web, it seems that the news and culture website has never officially left beta mode. Today, the site’s co-founders Choire Sicha and Alex Balk (its third co-founder, David Cho, left to become publisher of Grantland in 2011) announced that next month The Awl will finally get a formal launch, as well as a pair of new editors.

Sicha and Balk tapped Matt Buchanan, the deputy editor of The New Yorker’s science and tech vertical, and John Herrman, editor of BuzzFeed's tech vertical, as the site’s new co-editors. Buchanan and Herrman previously worked together at both BuzzFeed and at Gizmodo.

Despite hiring two editors with tech backgrounds, The Awl assured readers that it won’t become a tech blog. Instead, it will continue to focus on the same topics (including, but not limited to, “longform writing, criticism, poetry, reporting and commentary by radical lesbians, witty frat bros and feminists,” per the website), albeit in a slightly different way.

“If you actually like The Awl, the things you like about it will get better,” the site wrote in a blog post. “If you are cool to The Awl, the things that put you off will get likely better or even go away.”

There will also be changes on the design and back end, with the site having recently undergone a rebuild.

As for Sicha and Balk, they’ll continue to write for The Awl and run the business side with publisher John Shankman. Last month, in an interview with Capital New York, Sicha said that The Awl Network, which also includes sites like The Hairpin and Splitsider, had “very nice growth in uniques network-wide, but even better growth in revenue” in 2013 and would likely be launching a new website and live show in the coming year.