In my last update, I informed you all that I had ceased employment with Ayzenberg Group and was looking for work elsewhere, ideally in music. Today I'd like to share with you that I've found such work with Substream Magazine.
In March, my friend and colleague James Shotwell introduced me to Substream's CEO Jason McMahon. Initially a consult on the state of Substream's website and online brand, we began the talks that led to the Digital Content Editor's position that I now hold.
I met with Jason and General Manager Drew Wille for lunch and coffee (I had a smoothie) in Delaware, OH last week. This is the town Substream calls home. Fitting, as my grandparents came from this area and purchased a spot of land there, where our barn sits, just outside of town. Rather than uprooting three kids to return to mid-Ohio, they stayed in Medina to raise their family. Still, I feel a connection to this place.
This morning, I woke up a few hours north in Bowling Green, OH where I'm spending the weekend with my girlfriend who is graduating on Saturday. Checking my email, I found the login info for my new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. As of today, I'm a Substream employee.
The meaning of this is vast. It changes a lot. Most importantly, it affects my relationship with the website I've called home for nearly 4 years of my life.
Under The Gun Review has been a staple in my life since high school. I was asked to join James Shotwell in building his empire as a senior taking post-secondary classes and managing fan-forums and blogs from my Blackberry Torch (RIP). In my years there, I've met some of my best friends, made lasting working relationships, ruined a few working relationships, and learned much. It's with a heavy heart that I step down from my leadership position there, but I know that it's best.
A few years ago, UTG was purchased by a company then known as BuzzMedia. It has gone through a worrying number of name, CEO, and staffing changes in that time and is now SpinGroup. I can't say my experience with them has been pleasant.
My duties at UTG primarily concerned the website's design, updates, and maintenance. Once acquired, I was promised help with all of those things. At first, I got it. After a few months, I lost all contact with those assigned to our site. I've had intermittent contact with them ever since.
After four complete redesigns for UTG stuck in the pipeline, dozens of unreturned emails, and no financial or directional support to the site, I was defeated. SpinMedia sucked my passion dry.
Rather than waiting for promises to be kept, James and I agreed that it was time for me to move on. Time to find a place where I could be free to create without restraint. Jason McMahon has offered me a place in his company and has given me the freedom I have so long desired.
I'll always be UTG's biggest fan. The staff and content is great and will stand as a model for Substream's online brand. I wish them the absolute best.
Substream is my new home and I'm excited to get started. Press folk, feel free to reach out to me via email. Writing friends, I've begun building my staff and I want you to be a part of it. Contributors welcome.
Thank you to James Shotwell, Brian (THE) Lion, Matt, Dan, JP, Kriston, Kellie, and the rest of UTG's staff, my family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else who has read, shared, or followed my work. I'm eager to begin.