The Spinoff just hired its first GM, here’s why

The Spinoff has had a lot to celebrate lately, having just blown out two candles, and now it’s hired its first general manager in Kerryanne Nelson. 

The publication’s new hire was announced through a post on The Spinoff by editor Duncan Greive who said a GM had been recruited “to help co-parent the bratty little shit of a site you know and mostly love.”

Nelson is moving over from Lightbox where she’s currently its marketing manager and will start at The Spinoff on 1 October.

In the post, Greive said Nelson played an integral role in setting up the sponsorship relationship between The Spinoff and Lightbox two years ago and has been a huge advocate of the brand.

He said she will step up to run operations and its commercial business, allowing Greive and the business to “become a dynamic and fearless modern media company”.

Nelson previously worked with Greive when they were editors of Real Groove and Groove Guide, sister publications owned by Real Groovy records and became close friends, Greive said.

The post also included an eloquent poem by writer Steve Braunias about her arrival, which is worth checking out.

Greive told StopPress that though he will have a bit more time to work on editorial, he will still be doing lots of commercial stuff, but the hire frees him up to work on the strategy and vision for the future.

“Because trying to do all three of those things [editorial, commercial and future planning] at once basically killed me. But, I think The Spinoff can be something pretty big … We are always trying to create a situation where it works for the content creator and the client and if we all come out happy then we have done our job right. That’s what the pair of us will be focusing on.”

Things have changed a lot over the past couple of years since The Spinoff launched, as Greive said himself in a post on The Spinoff on its second birthday “Back then, we were just a little website. Now, though, we’re … still just a little website. But we’re doing a few things! Got big dreams, making a little noise, kicking over a few bins.”

Since it’s launch, the site has built up more commercial power and a larger audience, allowing it to launch a bunch of initiatives, including its recent declaration of a ‘War for Auckland’ where it raised $25,000 through a fundraising campaign to increase its reportage on Auckland’s housing crisis.

“When we first started and for the first year we just had a single client, which was Lightbox, so it was a simple arrangement. But over the past three or four months there has been more interest and knowledge in who we are and what we are doing,” he says.

“There’s a lot more clients now and each one is kind of unique and has its own needs and demands and has a very specific kind of contract that’s different from the others. So, no two are alike and having someone who can be across all of those and for Kerryanne to be able to look after that at all times will ensure that they stay happy.”

Greive says The Spinoff has had a couple of months where the team has collectively worked its butts off and it’s given the publication a financial kick, but also seeing a clear bit of road up ahead gave it the confidence to hire Nelson.

“There is only a finite amount of work you can do and my own expertise is limited, whereas Kerryanne is a lot more sophisticated. So it’s a risk but it was an inevitability and it will be profoundly positive for us as a business.”

In The Spinoff’s birthday post, Greive also named a few new partnerships and alluded to some upcoming initiatives: “We have some super cool shit coming with Kiwibank, and the Human Rights Commission and DB Breweries and plenty more dumb money-losing schemes we’re doing for the hell of it.”

He says he could be looking to hire more staff soon. “I think there’s one or two to come before Christmas depending on a couple of proposals and which way they will swing. We definitely want to continue to aggressively grow what we are doing and we want to do that with staff rather than contractors because there are fantastic things that come from working together under the same roof.”

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