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Riot New Media Group a Start Up pushing the boundaries of Color, Gender and Content.

Riot New Media Group a Start Up pushing the boundaries of Color, Gender and Content.

Look­ing for a job is very com­pet­i­tive. If you are only apply­ing to jobs online you will encounter sub­stan­tial com­pe­ti­tion. At MediaJobs.com our objec­tive is to make it as easy as pos­si­ble to find a job at a great com­pa­ny and with the least amount of com­pe­ti­tion.

At MediaJobs.com we have estab­lished our mis­sion of Find­ing the Great Com­pa­nies First. In keep­ing with our mis­sion we have cre­at­ed this inter­view series with some of the newest star­tups in the New York City mar­ket area.   We encour­age you to learn about some of the newest com­pa­nies and think about what might be a good fit for you.

What is the name and loca­tion of your com­pa­ny and who are the founders?

Riot New Media Group, Brook­lyn, NY

Cofounders: Jeff O’Neal and Clin­ton Kabler

How did the idea for your start­up come about?

In 2011, Jeff was teach­ing Eng­lish at The New School and writ­ing a book blog, and Clin­ton was fol­low­ing Jeff’s blog. They both felt the most inter­est­ing book cov­er­age was occur­ring with­in the blog­ging com­mu­ni­ty. They believed an oppor­tu­ni­ty exist­ed to bring the best blog­gers togeth­er and pro­vide them the tech­nol­o­gy and resources to reach a broad­er audi­ence. In Octo­ber 2011, they launched Book Riot, a site and com­mu­ni­ty ded­i­cat­ed to achiev­ing that goal.

Of the key peo­ple involved what is everyone’s expe­ri­ence and back­ground?

Jeff O’Neal received his PhD in Eng­lish from Colum­bia, and lec­tured at The New School pri­or to co-found­ing Riot New Media Group.

Clin­ton Kabler received his MBA from Rut­gers, and direct­ed sales and mar­ket­ing at an enter­prise soft­ware com­pa­ny pri­or to co-found­ing Riot New Media Group.

Jeff & Clin­ton attend­ed col­lege togeth­er at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas.

How do you see your com­pa­ny cre­at­ing val­ue or dis­rupt­ing an exist­ing mar­ket?

Riot New Media Group cre­ates val­ue by serv­ing read­ers of books and comics under the age of 35, who have been tra­di­tion­al­ly under­served. With a com­mit­ment to diverse cov­er­age, its prop­er­ties, Book Riot and Pan­els, cov­er all gen­res from all kinds of cre­ators.

When was the busi­ness found­ed and how are you being fund­ed?

Found­ed: July 2011

Fund­ed: RNMG is pri­vate­ly fund­ed by its founders and their friends and fam­i­ly.

If so by whom are you cur­rent­ly fund­ed by?

Cash flow now funds oper­a­tions.

What is the cur­rent size of your busi­ness, num­ber of employ­ees?

RNMG present­ly employs 11 full­time staff and over 100 con­tract­ed writ­ers.

What is the prod­uct and or ser­vice you are pro­vid­ing?

Riot New Media Group oper­ates BookRiot.com and Panels.net, con­tent-dri­ven com­mu­ni­ties built on the niche inter­ests of books and comics, respec­tive­ly. We launched both prop­er­ties because we believed that the then-avail­able books and comics cov­er­age over­looked diver­si­ty and failed to talk about books and comics in a way that was rel­e­vant to read­ers under age 35. Today, Book Riot and Pan­els reach a com­bined 1.2MM month­ly unique vis­i­tors. Cur­rent rev­enue is gen­er­at­ed through adver­tis­ing, mer­chan­dise, event and affil­i­ate streams. In addi­tion, we oper­ate the Riot Ad Net­work (RiotAdNetwork.com), which sells dis­play adver­tis­ing on behalf of 150+ book and comics sites that reach an addi­tion­al 11MM month­ly unique vis­i­tors. Com­bin­ing both prop­er­ties and the ad net­work, 58% of our month­ly unique vis­i­tors are age 34 or younger.

Our rev­enue comes from both busi­ness and con­sumer sales. Busi­ness cus­tomers include the five largest U.S. pub­lish­ing hous­es, many mid-size and inde­pen­dent pub­lish­ing hous­es, book and comics retail­ers, book and comics sub­scrip­tion ser­vices, book and comics tech­nolo­gies, and book and comics adja­cent movies and the­ater pro­mo­tions. Over 6,000 con­sumers have pur­chased from our e‑commerce store­front or sub­scribed to one of our quar­ter­ly sub­scrip­tion box­es. Over 1,000 con­sumers, exhibitors and spon­sors will attend our first live event, Book Riot Live, hap­pen­ing Novem­ber 78, 2015.

Explain how you are seek­ing entry into your mar­ket­place.

We engaged with our audi­ences in all the places they hang out online. We have active social strate­gies for Face­book, Twit­ter, Insta­gram, Tum­blr, Pin­ter­est, Youtube, and Goodreads.

What seems to be the biggest strength of the team so far?

We have a cul­ture of decid­ing fast, try­ing fast, and suc­ceed­ing or fail­ing fast. We con­sid­er this cul­ture to be one of our great­est achieve­ments.

What was your great­est “AhHa” moment to date?

The real­iza­tion that our role as cul­tur­al tastemak­ers would allow us to devel­op an e‑commerce strat­e­gy that has been one of our fastest grow­ing rev­enue streams.

What was the fun­ni­est thing that has hap­pened?

To save mon­ey, we have rent­ed AirBnBs for team lodg­ing dur­ing Book Expo Amer­i­ca. This past BEA, our AirBnB had loft­ed beds. Ear­ly in the morn­ing before show start, Clin­ton got up and fell 7 ft from his loft to the floor, result­ing in an emer­gency room vis­it and 12 stitch­es on   his fore­head. He made meet­ings that after­noon at Jav­its look­ing like he’d been a pub brawl the pre­vi­ous evening.

If you can only do one thing in your indus­try what would that be?

Amer­i­can soci­ety is sys­tem­i­cal­ly racist, sex­ist, and homo­pho­bic. Book and comics pub­lish­ing suf­fer from these same sys­temic fail­ures. Riot New Media Group serves as a media ally to women, peo­ple of col­or, mem­bers of the LGBTQ com­mu­ni­ty, and oth­er tra­di­tion­al­ly mar­gin­al­ized voic­es. Through our #Read­Hard­er chal­lenge and edi­to­r­i­al cov­er­age that high­lights authors and illus­tra­tors from diverse back­grounds, we are an author­i­ta­tive voice that con­tributes to the mar­ket suc­cess of these cre­ators. For 2015, we chal­lenged our edi­to­r­i­al staff and con­trib­u­tors to diver­si­fy their read­ing by aim­ing for min­i­mum 33% books by peo­ple of col­or and 50% books by women. Year to date, they have met and exceed­ed those goals; 33% of books cov­ered were authored by peo­ple of col­or, and 65% by women . More impor­tant­ly, as edi­to­r­i­al cov­er­age

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