My introduction to publishing took place in high school as a writer for the student newspaper. I followed my interest in publishing to Lynchburg College as sports editor and columnist for the student newspaper, The Critograph.
Following graduation with a degree in journalism, I began work in television broadcasting at CNN in the Washington, DC bureau. I helped produce Larry King Live and the political debate gabfest, Crossfire, co-hosted by Michael Kinsley on the "Left" and Robert Novak or Pat Buchanan on the “Right”. Producing both sides of a nightly live political debate show was challenging, but not nearly as much as producing “Both Sides with Jesse Jackson” as part of the Sunday show unit team where I spent my weekends assisting with other shows including Capitol Gang and Reliable Sources. Some of my memories working at CNN are documented here.
In late 1995, while working at Crossfire, the opportunity appeared to relocate to Seattle and start the first online magazine for Microsoft. Michael Kinsley was leaving CNN to start Slate.com and hired me as the first employee. At the time Slate’s editorial vision was a two page hand-written document. With the help of a few veteran Microsoft employees we published for the first time in June, 1996. During my ten year period at Slate I served multiple roles as writer, producer, managing editor and publisher. While publisher, Slate reached profitability and won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online. In 1997 we partnered with Starbucks Coffee to distribute a print version of Slate into their stores nationwide. We also co-developed a radio program, Day to Day, with National Public Radio. Based on the work producing Slate’s popular Diary feature, I co-edited, The Slate Diaries, published by Public Affairs Books. Microsoft sold Slate to the Washington Post in 2004 but I chose to stay at the software company and join a new team introducing streaming video to web audiences, prior to YouTube’s existence. For the first time in history, we webcast New Year’s Eve from Times Square to a global audience.
In 2005 I joined Yahoo! as Director of Content Production working for well-known Hollywood media executive Lloyd Braun at Yahoo! Media Group in Santa Monica, California, creating original programming. I lived vicariously through adventurer and travel writer Richard Bangs for a web series we produced featuring untold adventures stories from around the world. We found People of the Web and featured them to an audience of millions. We profiled subcultures through Yahoo! News Underground and sent one man to as many war zones as he could cover over 12 months in The Hot Zone.
In 2009, I returned to Microsoft as Senior director and executive producer, responsible for the content programming and business strategy for the lifestyle and local initiatives for the U.S. web portal, MSN.com. We launched in every zip code in the United States providing audiences the opportunity to find local news, sports, weather, entertainment and other listings. As the oldest of four boys, I think my boss thought it’d be a cruel joke to ask me to oversee the women’s beauty and fashion websites. In collaboration with BermanBraun and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., we launched Glo, a women’s lifestyle site and MSN Living focused on fashion trends, life and beauty advice.
As social media and millennial consumption habits further changed web publishing, I joined one of the world's largest millennial digital media companies, Cheezburger.com, as executive producer. We sold Cheezburger to Literally Media in 2015.