LOS ANGELES -- Fresh off a phenomenal year that featured several alliances with key media companies and steady audience growth, theloop21.com, a leading African-American web site for economic and political news, today announced expansion plans and an investment in executive talent.
"This is an exciting time for us," said Darrell Williams, founder & publisher of theloop21.com. "We've achieved and surpassed a number of key milestones in 2010 and we are building on the momentum. I'm extremely pleased to welcome a wealth of senior operations and editorial talent to our team who are committed to our vision and mission."
The company's new round of appointments includes the addition of Ken Gibbs as Chief Operating Officer & Executive Editor. Mr. Gibbs, a digital media pioneer, was part of the founding team for Africana.com, the first black content website. Acquired by Time Warner, and rebranded AOL Black Voices, the site grew to prominence with Gibbs serving as a critical member of the content development team and the creative force behind many features that are valuable offerings in the AOL Black Voices portfolio today. He has also held senior positions at InteractiveOne and Essence.com, where his contributions included creating the digital strategy for the Essence Music Festival. In his new role at theloop21.com, Gibbs will handle infrastructure design and maintenance, and will be responsible for the overall editorial processes including oversight of the management and editorial staff.
Other key appointments announced include:
Danielle Belton, Money & Politics Editor: Writer and creator of the award-winning popular politics and pop culture blog, blacksnob.com, Belton is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist and social networking consultant. A former daily newspaper reporter, Belton's work has appeared in The American Prospect, Essence Magazine, Jezebel and Mediaite, and she has been featured on NPR, CNN and ABC's Nightline. As the Money & Politics Editor, Belton will write, edit and develop unique content, reflecting the emerging voices of media and political commentary.
Janee Bolden, Culture & Entertainment Editor – Previously Managing Editor at Bossip.com, one of the biggest black digital media websites, Ms. Bolden joins theloop21.com as Culture & Entertainment Editor. In this position, she will guide the site's expansion in its coverage of lifestyle and cultural issues, using her extensive contact base and creativity to extend the reach and influence of those key sections.
Michael Brody, Front Page & News Editor – Formerly a national news editor for the Fox News digital platform, Mr. Brody managed, produced and edited news for national, regional and local affiliates. Prior to Fox News, he worked as Editorial Manager at PR Newswire, where he was responsible for day-to-day operations in the Los Angeles Bureau of the news distribution company. As Front Page & News Editor for theloop21.com, Mr. Brody will be responsible for front-page news coverage to ensure timely, relevant news production and a highly informative user experience.
Keli Goff, Contributing Editor for Special Reports – A respected analyst and opinion-maker for networks including MSNBC and CNN, Ms. Goff is an accomplished author who brings her creativity, resourcefulness and a network of high profile contacts to the theloop21.com. As Contributing Editor for Special Reports, she will explore provocative national issues of social and economic importance to theloop21 audience. Already a valued contributor and lauded for her articles featured on the site, this new position marks an expansion of Ms. Goff's role at the online company.
TheLoop21.com is the premier online destination for in-depth analysis of economic and political news presented from the minority perspective. TheLoop21.com not only highlights problems, but also offers insights and solutions, plus provides a platform where everyone is invited to join the conversation. The site is an alternative to mainstream media with a mission to lead the discussion on economic progress for people of color.