Earlier this week in the GeekWire newsroom, we tuned in to the noontime radio program from KUOW in Seattle — well, technically, we told Alexa to stream the show — as Mayor Jenny Durkan fielded a question about GeekWire’s scoop on Amazon moving its worldwide operations team and thousands of workers out of Seattle to nearby Bellevue, Wash.
It was one of those satisfying moments as journalists, as we saw and heard the impact of our hard work and reporting — informing our audience and illuminating the public discussion.
Eight years ago, we started GeekWire based on our belief that Seattle and the Pacific Northwest deserve a national and global tech news site and community of their own, rooted here and relevant everywhere.
This was the founding vision for GeekWire as a media company, and it has come to fruition in ways we couldn’t have imagined when we began.
- Every month, millions of people read GeekWire’s in-depth coverage of technology, science, innovation and geek life, as we chronicle the ideas, people and companies emerging from the Seattle region and relevant to people here.
- Thousands of people attend our events every year. Internationally recognized business leaders, engineers, scientists and community leaders speak at our conferences.
- GeekWire has resulted in countless connections and deals that wouldn’t have happened if not for the community that has formed around our coverage and events.
- We’ve rallied the community to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits in STEM education and homeless services through our annual Geeks Give Back campaign, and we support non-profit efforts through our Impact Partners program.
- And on the business side of the house, major sponsors and advertisers choose GeekWire as a platform for building their brands and reaching the community.
We’re proud of the small, scrappy GeekWire team that has built something rare and precious in the world of modern journalism: a growing, independent, profitable media business.
But we also see an incredible number of areas where we can and should do better.
Over the past few months, we have been revisiting and renewing our focus on our founding vision, aiming to set GeekWire up for more success and growth in the future. We’ve been taking a hard look at where we spend our time and energy as a team, and adjusting our approach to ensure we’re serving our loyal audience and providing value to the community.
We’re starting with a key addition to our newsroom leadership. We’re excited to announce the promotion of Taylor Soper as GeekWire’s first managing editor.
We conducted an extensive external search for this role and considered many great candidates, and ultimately we found the best candidate in our own newsroom. Taylor’s insights, ideas, and enthusiasm for this new role as a newsroom leader set him apart in a highly qualified field.
Taylor will work with GeekWire editor and co-founder Todd Bishop, helping to identify, assign and edit stories, coordinate coverage, overseeing editorial social media and analyzing our audience and traffic patterns to identify new opportunities to engage our audience on a deeper level.
In this new role, Taylor will continue to oversee and coordinate our Seattle and Pacific Northwest startup coverage, working with reporters across the team to boost our focus on this core coverage area. He will continue to do some reporting and writing of his own, as well.
We’re excited about the opportunity this unlocks for our news coverage. It’s especially fun to see Taylor step up into this role more than six years after he joined us as our first staff reporter. Taylor is a Portland, Ore., native and University of Washington journalism and business grad.
“My goal is to help us produce top-notch journalism for our growing audience, especially the loyal readers and those in the local community,” Taylor wrote in a note to the team. “For me, success in this new role means an energized newsroom with kickass reporters who love coming to work and are committed to our core values.”
In addition to promoting Taylor to managing editor, we recently made two important hires.
- James Thorne has joined GeekWire as a staff reporter focused on health technology, startups and general assignment coverage, and working on the GeekWire Health Tech Podcast. James is an NYU business and economics journalism grad who has written for publications including Reuters, CNBC, and Financial Planning.
- Tiffany Grunzel has joined the GeekWire business team as advertising and sponsorship coordinator and helping the team in many ways big and small. A veteran of companies including Publicis and Leafly, Tiffany is a graduate student at the University of Washington focusing on digital media communications.
These are the first in a series of adjustments and additions we’re planning, particularly as we build out our business and operations team to improve GeekWire’s products, events, newsletters, membership program, website and apps.
We owe it to you. GeekWire has benefited immensely from ongoing support, involvement and feedback from the community we serve.
We’ve also benefited from Seattle’s enviable position at the epicenter of some of the most important frontiers of technology: the cloud, artificial intelligence, video games, life sciences and many more. This region has grown far beyond coffee, planes and software. What happens here matters everywhere, and we see that in the shape of our audience. Seattle and Washington state represent our largest market, but not the majority of our traffic. People around the world follow our coverage for the unique insights available from this vantage point.
So how can you get involved?
- News Tips: We thrive on news tips, and love chasing a great story, so if you have something to share about what’s shaking in the tech community, send tips to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Newsletters: Check out our full slate of email newsletters here.
- Sponsorship: Looking to recruit, build your brand, attract new customers or simply support journalism, we’ve got customized offerings just for you. Reach us at email@example.com.
- Events: Meet top tech execs, innovative entrepreneurs and community leaders at our signature events. A full listing of upcoming events here, with the GeekWire Awards early-bird tickets closing out today.
- Memberships: Get special perks, access to health insurance and entry to key events — and support our unique brand of journalism — by becoming a GeekWire member.
Thanks to all of you for being part of this journey with us. Here’s to even bigger and better things for the Seattle and the Pacific Northwest tech community in the next eight years and beyond.
— John Cook, publisher and co-founder; and Todd Bishop, editor and co-founder.