Two weeks ago, I resigned from CNET after seven years at the technology news site. Today, I can report that I have accepted an offer from The Verge to become a senior reporter. I start in a couple of weeks.
When I say “saved,” I’m probably being too dramatic (I wouldn’t have ended up in a bread line). But in this job market and after recent events I won’t deny that I was a little worried about finding a good home. I’m now confident that’s exactly what I found.
I know that because some really smart people who happen to work for several of The Verge’s competitors told me so. In interviews, some of these editors couldn’t offer me a job, so instead they offered advice. They said that if they were in my position, they’d go to work for The Verge. It made a big impression on me that The Verge has earned such respect from rivals.
What it came down to though was that The Verge and parent company Vox Media possess a large stock of new-media secret sauce. Vox began its climb with SB Nation’s popular sports sites, and it’s clear that the audiences of The Verge and sister site Polygon are skyrocketing. That’s due in no small part to the leadership of Vox’s CEO Jim Bankoff and COO Marty Moe.
Then, there are a couple of guys who are quickly becoming the Lennon and McCartney of tech news: Josh Topolsky, The Verge’s editor in chief (sitting front and center in the photo above), and Nilay Patel, the managing editor. They helped build Engadget into a winner and now they’re taking the same but more refined formula to The Verge.
This is what I mean: The Verge breaks news. Their stories typically take the right tone. The photos, video and graphics tend to be a cut above. They know the tech reader as well as anybody.
The Verge also won me over by providing something of great value to me. I possess a written guarantee from management that nobody from the business side of the company will ever have any authority over my stories. Long before I arrived, The Verge committed itself to editorial independence.
Before I move on I must thank my former CNET coworkers and Jim Kerstetter, my manager and mentor for most of my time there. I also am grateful to the many editors and executives at the publications who met with me during the last two weeks. I suspect some of them called without much room for a new hire but were just eager to help.
The past two weeks have been tough ones, but I think it’s worth noting that after visiting with so many great news people recently, my faith in journalism and journalists has never been stronger.