A.V. Club Exodus Continues as Todd VanDerWerff Becomes Vox’s First Culture Editor

A.V. Club Exodus Continues as Todd VanDerWerff Becomes Vox's First Culture Editor
.V. Club Exodus Continues Todd VanDerWerff Becomes Vox's First Culture Editor

Vox.com, the data journalism site founded by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, announced today that Todd VanDerWerff has been hired as their first Culture Editor. Erik Adams and Sonia Saraiya will be handling T.V. Club in the immediate future; VanDerWerff starts his new job June 30.

Criticwire has reached out to VanDerWerff for comment on how he plans to approach the new gig — I’m especially curious about how his dedication to long-form criticism jibes with Vox’s stats-heavy approach — and he’s posted a personal reminiscence to his Tumblr about his journey so far. But in the meantime, it’s worth noting that this is the third major defection from the A.V. Club in the last year: Staffers Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson and Genevieve Koski, along with prolific freelancer Noel Murray, left to found the Dissolve with former film editor Scott Tobias and former editor Keith Phipps last June; managing editor Kyle Ryan left in April to join Entertainment Weekly; and now VanDerWerff will be gone by the end of next week. (Disclosure: I write for the Dissolve and worked with every person mentioned in this paragraph during their time at the A.V. Club.)

The A.V. Club remains a powerful brand, and that new editor A.A. Dowd managed to rebuild a robust film section even after losing most of the site’s critics in one fell swoop. (General Manager Josh Modell, who in the wake of the Dissolve announcement, proclaimed himself “A.V. Club for Life,” remains, as does music editor Marah Eakin.) But that’s an enormous amount of turnover for one site to handle, and it will be interesting to see how it fills yet another editorial vacuum.
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