Tag Archives: Quartz


WSJ names new tech columnist


Wall Street Journal technology editor Jonathan Krim sent out the following staff hire on Wednesday:

We are delighted to announce Christopher Mims as our new technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and WSJD.com, the Journal’s online and mobile home for tech coverage.

Mims, 34, is coming to the Journal from Quartz, where he has served as lead technology reporter and most recently technology and science editor. As a writer, he has consistently provided provocative and insightful stories, columns and blog posts about an array of technology and science topics, from Facebook’s plan to find its next billion users to the history of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

As a freelance journalist before joining Quartz, Mims was a prolific writer for publications ranging from Technology Review and Smithsonian.com to Wired, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Discover, Slate and Glamour. He has a degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University.

In his new role, Mims will produce a weekly column for print and online readers, as well as blog posts and videos for digital platforms.  Mims, who hails from San Antonio and currently lives in Baltimore, says he is “excited to join a team at the Journal that is already breaking the kind of technology news that truly matters.”

Chris is one of the leading tech writers and commentators in the country. I’m delighted he’ll be joining our expanding WSJD coverage team.

Christopher Mims

WSJ close to hiring Mims as tech columnist


The Wall Street Journal is close to hiring Quartz tech and science editor Christopher Mims as its newest tech columnist, reports Kara Swisher of Re/Code.

Swisher writes, “If completed, Mims will replace its last new tech columnist Farhad Manjoo, who decamped for the New York Times in January, just a few months after arriving from Slate.

“The Journal talked to a range of writers about the high-profile slot — no, I am not going to tell you who they are, but they are easy to guess.

“As described on Quartz — the online news magazine owned by Atlantic Media — Mims is a ‘former editor at Seed, Scientific American, Technology Review, Grist and Smithsonian, and in those roles launched blogs, redesigns, video series and other half-forgotten but otherwise influential experiments in new media.’

“Mims is also one sassy dude, it seems, with a recent column titled, ‘Tech Companies Are Liars: The Samsung Edition.’

“‘Unless something is made explicit in a forum in which there are legal consequences for getting it wrong, you simply can’t trust the numbers coming out of most tech companies,’ he wrote.”

Read more here.

Quartz tablet

Quartz seeks consumer goods reporter


Quartz seeks a reporter to lead its coverage of the consumer goods sector globally, including a focus on the business of food.

You would be part of the growing Quartz team in New York, and help shape our efforts to take bracingly creative approaches to covering business news. Consumer goods topics we’ve covered recently have ranged from the decline of the microwave oven to the per capita coffee consumption around the world. Developing fresh ways to look at consumption trends and translate them into interesting, provocative articles, with a solid grounding in data, is a central challenge of this job.

We are looking for someone with professional reporting experience, a facility with data, an entrepreneurial approach to their work, and the ability to convey curiosity and subtle humor in their writing. The reporter should feel comfortable with using formats other than 700-word articles (such as shorter pieces, photos, and charts) when they’re better for efficiently and effectively getting a story across. International experience and languages are a plus.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and five links to relevant work. The links matter most.

To apply, go here.


Quartz hires two new staffers


Quartz editor in chief Kevin Delaney sent out the following staff announcement:

Some staff news:

Nikhil Sonnad has joined us this week as a reporter on the Things team. Nikhil arrives in New York from Sydney, where he was working as a journalist-coder at the non-profit news venture The Global Mail. (Check out some of his work there, from data visualizations to longform presentations.) He has previously worked in Taiwan and New York. He speaks JavaScript, Python, Chinese, and Spanish. You can follow him @nsonnad

Jenni Avins joins us on May 7 as lifestyle reporter. Jenni is a contributing editor at New York Magazine’s fashion site, the Cut, and the founder of Closettour.com. Her freelance work has been published by The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, Vice, and other outlets. J. Crew recently took out a two-page magazine ad featuring a note addressed to “Ms. Avins” after she suggested they revive a classic swimsuit, and they did. Jenni speaks Portuguese. You can follow her @jenniavins

With these hires, we’re beginning the process of staffing up for a new phase of growth. In addition to a handful of one-year fellowships we’re finalizing offers for, we’ll be adding incremental new editorial positions in the coming weeks.

Quartz Daily Brief

How Quartz has doubled its email signup rate


Quartz’s Daily Brief, an email newsletter that surpassed 50,000 subscribers earlier this year recently changed its sign-up process, reducing friction and enabling a more seamless subscription experience.

The result is that Quartz, a business news site from The Atlantic, has doubled the rate of sign-ups.

When Quartz launched in 2012, it wanted to build an account framework that could handle all its future aspirations—personalization, geolocation, read-it-later, offline mode, annotations, user settings, and a variety of email subscriptions.

As it set out to build the account system, it only made sense to make creating an account a requirement for email signup. If it was going to eventually build in other functionality centered around a specific user, it made sense to have everything tied together, right?

This is probably the way most people get to such a problem: planning so much for what you might want to build down the line that you instead make the user experience less appealing for the functionality you have available right now. In reality, requiring accounts just slowed down the Daily Brief signup process for a lot of people, frustrated others, and turned many off from signing up entirely.

Near the end of 2013, Quartz decided to redesign the email signup and account registration flows in an effort to make them more appealing. But it quickly became obvious that the problem was not about the aesthetics. If Quartz wanted more email subscribers, it would have to make it easier for people to subscribe.

Quartz decided to break off the email signup process from accounts entirely. Accounts would now govern its annotations product and any other features down the road that truly demand an account.

Since it rolled out the new system on February 19, the daily subscriber rate has doubled, even on weekends when activity dips considerably. Users can now sign up via “in-stream units” or through the Daily Brief landing page. Of the people that view that page, a full 60 percent of them now go on to subscribe.

Read more here.

Quartz launch

Quartz hires new website developer


Quartz editor in chief Kevin Delaney sent out the following staff hire announcement on Monday:

Micah Ernst starts today as our product engineering director. He comes from Time, where he was manager of web development and oversaw the recent relaunch of Time.com. Micah has led development of projects there including Time.com’s earlier responsive design and a Google Glass photo app for Life, and has deep experience in the Javascript and WordPress technology powering qz.com.

Micah earlier worked as a developer for marketing and academic organizations, and has an IT degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. While a student, he won the Verizon Fios Grand Tournament videogame competition, coming in first out of more than 6,000 players. One of Micah’s colleagues at Time reached out to me last week to praise him and say “You made the right choice.” Follow him on Twitter at @micahwave

With Micah’s joining, we’re reinforcing our top-notch engineering team and its ability to do more industry-leading work. We’re looking to quickly fill our expansion developer slot, and accelerate progress on projects including the qz.com refresh and new Quartz products.

Please join me in welcoming Micah.

Quartz launch

Unlikely data nuggets fuel Quartz stories


Ben Cardew of The Guardian writes Sunday about Quartz, the business news site from The Atlantic.

Cardew writes, “But for Quartz, the Atlantic’s mobile-first business news site, the term denotes the kind of unlikely data nugget behind several of its biggest stories, part of a recipe that has helped Quartz to 5 million readers in just 18 months.

“And it isn’t stopping there: Quartz co-president Jay Lauf says the company has 10 million users in its sights after beating initial audience predictions, while Quartz is projecting a 300% rise in ad revenue this year. Summer 2014 will see Quartz expand internationally, with the launch of an Indian edition in June that will include region-specific content.

“Quartz was launched in September 2012 by Atlantic Media, parent company of highbrow US magazine the Atlantic, a 157-year-old title recently described by the New York Times as ‘the intellectual’s monthly.’ In 2010 the Atlantic returned to profit thanks to a modern-thinking, digital-first approach, including the dismantling of its online paywall in January 2008.

“Quartz aroused considerable interest with its combination of a mobile-first approach, an editorial ethos based on ‘obsessions’ – essentially a changing lineup of newsworthy topics rather than traditional news beats – and a business model that eschewed a paywall and banner ads in favour of free access and native advertising from a small number of bluechip companies.”

Read more here.

Quartz tablet

Making business journalism that doesn’t taste like medicine


Delivering informative news and not making it taste like medicine is one of the key challenges of business journalism.

On Saturday afternoon, Kevin Delaney, Quartz editor in chief and co-founder, and NPR’s Planet Money’s Caitlin Kenney discussed different ways to innovate business journalism and make it compelling for readers.

Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at Arizona State University Susan Lisovicz moderated the panel discussion, which is part of the annual Society of American Business Editors and Writers, being held this weekend at ASU.

Kenney showed clips from Planet Money’s T-Shirt Project, where the NPR team followed the making of a cotton t-shirt through four continents and a global economy.

Planet Money hoped to raise $50,000 for the project. Instead, the team raised $600,000 — which Kenney said motivated her to fulfill the high expectations from readers.

“People were so excited about the project because they had helped support it, and they really felt like they were part of it too,” she said.

The story of the t-shirt was told through audio, video and graphics — an “inherently visual” medium that drew readers in.

Delaney also said that making stories visual, through charts or graphics, is key to sticking out in the streams of news content.

News consumption is increasing, but fewer than 40 percent of Americans have a regular news habit, Delaney said. Instead, readers wade in and out of the streams.

Headlines are another way to make stories stick out to readers. Delaney said he has reporters write their headlines before they write their story.

“It brings a focus to the reporting and writing of the article,” he said.

Quartz caters to the business elite, and Delaney said he doesn’t allow throat clearing or sports analogies — respect the readers’ time, he said.

And instead of beats, Quartz reporters have what are called “obsessions.”

“We want people to write about stuff that’s important but also interesting,” Delaney said. “A lot of that stuff falls between beats.”

Nowadays, there are more forms of innovative journalism and more competition, but Delaney said he welcomes it.

“It is the readers who will ultimately decide if we’re successful or not,” he said.

Maddy Will is a UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication student attending the SABEW conference on a Talking Biz News scholarship

Quartz tablet

Quartz seeks global news editor


Quartz seeks an editor to lead its newsroom team and guide daily coverage with bracing creativity and ambition.

You would run Quartz’s global newsroom, assigning coverage, editing stories, and managing the bulk of our journalists.

We are looking for someone with an obsessive interest in news and compulsion to find the most original and smart approaches for tackling it. This person must lead through their energy and curiosity, and deftly guide Quartz’s journalists to produce the greatest work they could aspire to.

We are looking for someone who is excited about the experimental opportunities of digital journalism, while possessing a love of language, facility with data, and fluency in traditional reporting and editing methods.

We are looking for someone with experience managing a team of journalists and deep understanding of strategies and tactics for producing quality journalism that finds a broad readership online.

We are looking for someone with intense interest in the world beyond the country where they reside, as exhibited by time spent living abroad and foreign language fluency.

This role presents the opportunity to join Quartz’s talented editorial, design, and developer staff in building on their success and propelling the business news venture toward greater creativity and excellence.

To apply, please submit a resume or LinkedIn profile, a cover letter touching on what you’d bring to the core requirements of the role, and three links to work of your own or that you’ve guided others to create.

To apply, go here.

Quartz tablet

Quartz editor Delaney, publisher Lauf named co-presidents


Kevin Delaney, the editor of the Quartz business news site, and Jay Lauf, the site’s publisher, have been named co-presidents of the Atlantic Media property.

Delaney and Lauf, who founded and have since led Quartz, have been promotedin recognition of the brand’s remarkable growth and success since it launched a year and a half ago.

“With these promotions, we are all but complete in installing a next generation of leadership at Atlantic Media,” said Atlantic Media CEO David Bradley in a statement.

Delaney joined Atlantic Media from the Wall Street Journal in 2012 as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Quartz, the company’s global business news brand.  He will continue to serve as editor-in-chief as well as co-president.  Previously, he was managing editor of WSJ.com, leading efforts that helped greatly expand the publication’s online presence.  Prior to that, he was a senior special writer at the Journal with postings in Paris and San Francisco. He began his career as a television producer in Montreal and New York.

“Kevin is as visionary a talent as I have met in my 15 years in media,” said Bradley.

As both co-president and founding publisher of Quartz, Lauf will continue to oversee Quartz‘s business operations.  Prior to his role at Quartz, Lauf led The Atlantic’s revitalization as its publisher. Under his direction, the publication attained its first profit in decades and transitioned The Atlantic to a “digital-first” brand.  In 2010, he was named Ad Age Publishing Executive of the Year and in 2011, he was Adweek Publisher of the Year.  Before joining Atlantic Media in 2008, Lauf was with Condé Nast and served as publisher of Wired.

Quartz now averages close to five million readers monthly, with nearly half of its readership outside of the US and a similar percentage accessing it via mobile and tablet devices.