I haven't posted anything personal on this blog in quite some time, probably ever since I was promoted to West Coast Deputy Bureau Chief at The Daily Beast back in October 2012 and stepped way back from the blog. When I founded Televisionary in the blogging hinterlands of February 2006, I did feel like a bit of an outsider, a television blogger who approached the medium and the work as though I were doing it full-time. It was a lark, something I did while I was also working in television development (and later in acquisitions/programming for a British television network), a chance to exercise my writing muscle while slaving away in the industry. Later, I would pour my heart and soul into this site, after I was pink-slipped, seeing it as less of a diversion and more of a means to an end.
More than seven years later, it's astonishing to me to see where those first steps have led me. First, to freelancing gigs with the Los Angeles Times and The Daily Beast and then to a contract position with the latter, where I became their television columnist and then moved to a full-time staff position covering television. When my editor, Kate Aurthur, left the company last fall, I was quickly moved into a management position, into the role of deputy bureau chief for the the Beast's West Coast operations. There, I juggled editorial duties on the entertainment side with overseeing a team of young writers, bringing in dynamic freelancers (including Ken Tucker, Jason Lynch, and Alyssa Rosenberg), and also covering television as the site's critic. It was a fantastic opportunity, one that I embraced, and I foresaw myself staying at the Beast for quite a while longer.
And then BuzzFeed came calling.
If you haven't yet heard the news, you can read this Variety story about my recent hiring. I've been poached from The Daily Beast and am heading to BuzzFeed, where I will step into the newly created role of Entertainment Editorial Director, beginning in mid-July. There, I will be overseeing the entertainment coverage--editing, writing, and making cohesive, overall decisions about BuzzFeed's nascent entertainment brand--for a site that I think is one of the most exciting, dynamic, and far-reaching on the web right now. This was not an easy decision to make, and I thought about what it would mean to leave behind The Daily Beast after four years. But I'm excited to see what this next chapter of my career will hold, and I think that BuzzFeed is at the forefront of the socially-driven web.
Despite the fact that the site has been around for years (positively decades in "Internet time"), it feels like a start-up, and I love that vibrancy and energy. BuzzFeed Entertainment is still somewhat of a newbie in the entertainment journalism field and I look forward to taking the brand into some new places. It's thrilling and scary and intense, and I'm really chuffed to see what I can do with their entertainment coverage.
I want to thank everyone who has read Televisionary over the years and who has been part of this story. Your support and encouragement means the world to me.
The press release that BuzzFeed prepared, which announces my hiring, can be found below:
Revered Television Critic And Pioneering Blogger To Oversee BuzzFeed’s Expanding Entertainment Coverage
New York, June 27, 2013
– Social news site BuzzFeed announced today it has hired Jace Lacob as its Entertainment Editorial Director. Lacob, who is currently the deputy West Coast bureau chief and television critic for The Daily Beast and Newsweek, will head up BuzzFeed’s Los Angeles and New York entertainment teams and shape the site’s television, film and industry coverage. He will be responsible for editing all entertainment coverage and will write regularly for the site.
"I am thrilled to be joining the BuzzFeed team. I look forward to working closely with Doree Shafrir and Ben Smith to make the entertainment vertical a dynamic and exciting destination for entertainment news and opinion with a strong emphasis on television and film. BuzzFeed has such a strong grasp on the socially-driven
pulse of pop culture today and I couldn't be happier to set forth on this next step with them," said Lacob.
"Jace a great journalist who is native to the social web and who has the vision to take entertainment coverage to the next level," said Doree Shafrir, BuzzFeed's Executive Editor.
“BuzzFeed is committed to expanding our Los Angeles Bureau, which has become a real center of gravity for our organization. BuzzFeed’s young, social audience is hungry for more sophisticated and fun entertainment coverage and we’re aiming to be the premier national outlet covering Hollywood,” said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed
Lacob was most recently the deputy West Coast bureau chief and television critic for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. He has written about television and culture at large, including food and cocktails, books, film, and even the real-life sport of Quidditch. Prior to joining The Daily Beast in 2009, his work appeared
in the Los Angeles Times, TV Week, AOLtv, and Film.com. He also founded Televisionary, an award-winning television-criticism website, in 2006. Jace was previously a Programming Executive for British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and the manager of longform development at Lionsgate Television. He is a member of the Television Critics Association and lives in Los Angeles.
Lacob begins at BuzzFeed on July 17.