Leitch, Ganz, Carlson, Robertson add original voices

Yahoo! Entertainment is beefing up its editorial team.

Already thriving in its Yahoo! News and Yahoo! Sports pages, the company is aiming to add original voices to its entertainment pages.

Joining a brand new team led by Managing Editor Courtney Reimer and Deputy Editor Mark Lisanti are Will Leitch (founder of Deadspin and staff writer for New York Magazine), Caryn Ganz (SPIN, Rolling Stone, MTV News), Erin Carlson (AP) and Lindsay Robertson (Videogum).

“I wanted people who had original voice content you couldn’t get anywhere else,” said Reimer, whose previous posts include MTV, VH1 and New York Magazine. “I was careful to make sure they would hit this voice.”

The four writers will be responsible for generating original content, full time, in the form of editorial pieces, commentary and even video. Reimer said they were hired partly for their popular and respected bylines in the industry.

“When you say ‘Will Leitch’ you can recall his Lebron James piece,” said Reimer. “When you think of Lindsay [Robertson], you think of her work on Jezebel. For me, they are fans in that our TV and movies, or music team is willing to give up off hours to go to a screening, to go to a concert.”

While Leitch will be writing about all things movies at Yahoo!, he will still produce sports articles for New York magazine. Ganz is set to produce commentary on music, something she’s done for a decade. Carlson will focus on celebrity news while Robertson will write about television.

Yahoo! Entertainment GM Sibyl Goldman said the editorial team will assume a strong leadership position in providing unique point of views and opinions. “It’s about coming at the content from a fan perspective,” said Goldman. “Think of the fan voice, with expertise.”

The approach is also to allow site visitors to have a deeper engagement.

“People who already come on Yahoo! Movies will see the latest trailer and maybe buy movie tickets. Now they may stay with us even longer,” said Goldman. “Now we have commentary to go with it.”

The announcement coincides with the recent launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network, a platform deriving from Yahoo!’s acquisition of Associated Content in May 2010. The community-based model will allow more than 400,000 writers, photographers and videographers to submit and publish content on sites like Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Sports.

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