'Root' Hires First EIC, 'Los Angeles' Gets New Publisher

The Root's managing editor Danielle Belton has been promoted to become the first editor-in-chief of the African-American-focused site. 

David Ford, senior vice president of PR and communications at parent company Fusion Media Group, told Publishers Daily the decision to add this position was "a recognition of the growth and influence of The Root since it joined Gizmodo Media's network of sites in January."

Ford said the company has invested "additional resource" to the brand over the past several months. "Adding the editor-in-chief role reflects that," he said. Belton will report to Gizmodo Media Group's editorial director Susie Banikarim.

Belton has served as managing editor since May 2016. Under her leadership, The Root, which launched in 2008, reached a record 12.1 million U.S. unique readers in August, up from about 5 million a year ago.



August also marked The Root’s sixth-straight month of growth in page views, up 56% from the previous month.

Genetta Adams, who has been at The Root since 2011, will succeed Belton as managing editor. Yesha Callahan will serve as deputy managing editor.

Before joining The Root as an associate editor in 2015, Belton worked as a senior digital media strategist for the civil rights nonprofit Advancement Project. She was head writer for a late-night talk show on BET, “Don’t Sleep hosted by T. J. Holmes.”

She also founded popular political and pop-culture blog “The Black Snob” in 2007.

Separately, Los Angeles magazine has tapped Josef Vann as its new publisher, six months after Emmis Communications Corp sold the 46-year-old publication to Detroit-based Hour Media.

As a result of the acquisition, the new owner let go of around eight employees, including publisher Erika Anderson, editor-in-chief Mary Melton and editor-at-large Amy Wallace. Executive editor Matthew Segal is serving as interim editor-in-chief.

Vann was born and raised in Mexico City and has served as publisher for Phoenix Home & Garden magazine and as vice president and group publisher of a number of Niche Media magazines, including Vegas, Atlanta Peach, Art Basel, Inside Out, Oceans Drive Dining Guide and Ocean Drive Español.

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