The Spinoff continues its sprint to become a proper grownup company by hiring Kerryanne Nelson to become its first GM. Duncan Greive explains why this matters – and why she’s the perfect fit.
Today, less than a week after our second birthday, I’m psyched to announce that we’ve recruited a GM to help co-parent the bratty little shit of a site you know and mostly love. She is Kerryanne Nelson, and comes to us from Lightbox, where she played an integral role in setting up the sponsorship relationship two years ago, and has continued to advocate for us ever since.
Over the past couple of years she’s had the best seat outside the company to watch our growth and evolution, and she comes with the blessing of her former employers to a huge, demanding but exciting new role. She’s stepping up to run operations and our commercial business, allowing me and my team to focus on our core editorial product, with the pair of us focusing on growing the business strategically to become a dynamic and fearless modern media company.
Kerryanne is someone I’ve known for over a decade, since we were editors of Real Groove and Groove Guide, sister publications owned by Real Groovy Records. We became close friends and have remained so ever since. I’ve always felt like she had an energy, charisma and drive which made you want to go with her wherever she was headed.
She has loved and supported the site from the first, and often read and shared our pieces before I have. Over the past couple of years she’s developed a great rapport with many of our staff; always seen what we were about, and how big it could become. Over the past couple of years we’d talk from time to time about whether we might work together again, and what form that might take. As we approached our third year I called her and asked again, when I was basically hanging by a thread from trying to do about three too many jobs. This time she finally said yes – I couldn’t be happier, and neither could she.
“I’m so crazy excited about joining The Spinoff,” she wrote in an email I asked her to write. “I truly believe its the most exciting thing to happen to New Zealand media in as long as I can remember and I feel so lucky to join the team.
“These guys are so clever. I’ve never read stories that so consistently make me laugh, educate me, and highlight the stuff we’re all thinking, but no one else is saying. They’re also amazing at rallying people for a cause. There’s just so much potential here – and so many opportunities for brands to work alongside them.”
That’s literally what she said. But I really believe it too. I think we’re building something pretty special here – an independent media brand born on the internet and built for this moment. We have a team of writers, producers and editors which have found their voice, and are consistently delivering extraordinary work across multiple disciplines. I’m super excited to see what we can all achieve together.
To help propel us into the next phase of our growth, we needed someone who could take all the noise and chaos and interest which is around us right now and harness it in a way which will help us do more. A quick aside: I want to quell any fears that a growing Spinoff is a safer or more boring one: please believe that this won’t involve us taking a backward step. We will still be the troublemaker we’ve always been – we’ll just be bigger and bolder, hire more people and work more coherently with businesses, NGOs and other institutions. And because Kerryanne has seen us grow from a client’s perspective, she’s uniquely qualified to know what we can do for them when deployed right.
“Duncan and I have been working on the Spinoff together from the start,” she wrote me in the same email I had earlier mentioned that I’d asked her to write. “It was his baby, and it was also Lightbox’s baby in a lot of ways. But he’s been the primary caregiver and raised the baby to become a confident, hilarious and boisterous toddler.
“I can make these terrible comparisons because I have a nine month old and it is hardcore.”
In case you think it’s just me hauling in my mate, I asked Steve Braunias, editor of The Spinoff Review of Books, to also back up how stoked we are to have her join our motley crüe. He only knows Kerryanne through The Spinoff, and was moved to write a freaking poem! It runs below, and seems the right way to end this thing. In the meantime, Kerryanne starts here in October, and we’re all thrilled to have her here. If you’d like to contact her for any reason, she’s already on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerryanne by Steve Braunias
If we say your name three times into a mirror
All our troubles will disappear.
Before you came we were a bone without a dog
A clown without a bucket
Fog without a torch.
You’re the crucial missing piece of a jigsaw
That Duncan’s been making without the aid of
The picture on the box.
We oughtta spin you a welcome mat outta gold
But the budget’s a bit tight
Could you please do something about that?