News From Backchannel
We’re now officially and totally integrated into Wired. But we won’t be gone.
Dear Backchannel readers,
Steven here. First, the news: Starting with the new year, Backchannel will be fully integrated into WIRED. While this means that there won’t be a weekly drop of Backchannel stories and columns — and we won’t be producing them from solely within a five-person unit — you’ll be still seeing those stories and reading the same writers who produced them when you visit the WIRED site. In fact, Backchannel will live on in the form of a new section on wired.com, which will launch in the coming weeks. More on that to come.
In the meantime, you will still be able to read stories from Jessi Hempel and me on wired.com, and also in the print edition (though I will be writing less this year because of a book leave). Backchannel editors Sandra Upson and Alexis Sobel Fitts will transfer their skills to wired.com, and our associate editor Miranda Katz will become a web producer for the site. All of us are excited to join the WIRED family, and we may even convince our new colleagues to run some meetings in the holocratic style we learned at Medium.
For those of you who follow Backchannel, this news probably won’t be a shock. Since we moved to the WIRED platform last June, it’s been clear that many — if not all — of our stories would have been appropriate for WIRED, and in some cases vice versa. It turns out that our vision of the tech world is pretty close to that of WIRED’s new editor, Nicholas Thompson. It simply made sense to join forces.
Now, some personal notes. The three-plus years since I left WIRED to start Backchannel on Medium have been the most gratifying of my career. I loved working with a small team of smart editors and writers to produce high quality stories that we hoped might raise the bar of tech journalism. (Also, during our Medium years, I got an amazing inside glimpse of life at a buzzy internet startup.) But I am also thrilled to be returning to WIRED, which has been a writing home for me since its beginning. (I wrote its second cover story, about cypherpunks and the crypto revolution that’s still in the news.) Though Backchannel is no longer a separate entity — and, yeah, I admit that’s bittersweet — I’m also proud that its DNA will productively mingle with the greatest tech magazine on the planet. Also, keeping the Backchannel name in circulation means we won’t have to throw out all those stickers we printed.
My eternal thanks to my wonderful coworkers: Sandra, who’s been my executive editor and flame-keeper since the beginning; Jessi, our brilliant writer and editorial director; Alexis, whose intelligence and editorial mastery raised our own; and Miranda, whose skills and logistical savvy made her indispensable to our operation. Thanks also to Scott Rosenberg for ably filling in for much of this year, and to Ricki Harris, who dove into deep editorial waters straight out of school and stayed afloat. We are also very much indebted to Nick Thompson, a constant supporter of Backchannel, who led a warm welcome to our people from the entire WIRED staff.
I consider myself blessed to be back in the neon mothership for the magazine’s 25th anniversary year. And it’s so much sweeter that the great Backchannel team is along for the ride.
Happy New Year!