July 16, 2012

New Politix Editor-in-Chief

by tolles at 9:00 AM

We've just hired David Mark from Politico to be our Editor-in-Chief of Politix! David was running The Arena section at Politico, and now he'll be leading our editorial team, helping write and edit, as well as reaching out to contributors and thought leaders to build out the community.

I'm happy to have David on board for several reasons:

  • For the product: At Politix we're building a new community where everyone - everyday aspirational folks all the way up to members of Congress - can meet in a marketplace of ideas, take their stand and make their point. David's experience at Politico's Arena is key, because like Politix, The Arena isn't simply a set of news stories - it's a place where the news is transformed into fuel for discussion and debate. Our concept of "endorsing" someone's viewpoint on an issue fits in well with having the kinds of contributors David fostered at The Arena weigh in with their opinions and points of view.  While we are doing something pretty different with Politix, his understanding of how people respond and interact will be informing how we go forward.
  • On the inside: David adds the core DNA we need for Politix. Getting Politix to the next level is going to require a robust set of experiences that we didn't have here at Topix - until now. Notably, David's experience with Politico and AP bylines, not to mention time at the Congressional Quarterly and as editor-in-chief of Campaigns & Elections magazine. In spending a fair number of years pitching, and whining about, journalists, I believe there is a very strong cultural component to the editorial operation, and being able to build that out is an important part of his role.
  • To the outside:  We wanted someone who knew the players in the political industrial complex - and could speak to them as a peer.  Having someone who has actually been on the Daily Show to pitch his book, who is a frequent analyst in the media on politics, and who represents the editorial arm of our company is a huge win for us.
  • For the Team: We are extremely fortunate to have made a great first senior editorial hire with Mary Noble, who has successfully spearheaded the boot-up of a new editorial property: built up the editorial guidelines, writes much of the content, coordinates the existing writers, and oversees the editing.  We're doing great, and I'm confident we have quality editorial every day up on the site. Bringing someone on who could add to Mary's efforts, and help all of us succeed, was a tall order, but David is a great culture fit for us.

We're doing something new.

Our vision is to create a new community around participation with the issues we face as Americans.  I'm humbled that a guy who edits and runs a piece of the best political site on the web is willing to hitch his wagon on our star and come work with us.

Welcome, David.

--

Chris Tolles

CEO, Topix

Update:  Christina Farr covers the announcement on VentureBeat.