Advertising Age was founded in Chicago and is now based in New York City, but increasingly our attention is where communications and branding is being reinvented -- and that 's Silicon Valley. A great story is best in the hands of a great reporter and writer, and that 's why I'm happy to announce that Cotton Delo has been named San Francisco bureau chief, effective immediately.
When I first met Cotton, I was expecting someone male, maybe wearing seersucker, which is why I looked right past the woman sitting in Ad Age 's lobby for an interview a little more than a year ago. Once we got that confusion out of the way, she joined Ad Age as a reporter covering social media, which largely meant Facebook and Twitter, but also a wide range of topics dear to Ad Age , such as media, politics, privacy and startups -- including the first forays into business for Foursquare, Pinterest and Tumblr.
As head of Ad Age 's San Francisco bureau, Cotton will expand her coverage to Bay Area ad agencies, consumer-focused startups, ad tech and venture-capital firms. She will, to put it in old-fashioned journalism terms, "follow the money," which increasingly flows from the world's biggest brands to tech platforms such as search, social and video to reach consumers. She'll also cover the personalities creating change, so expect to see her at meetups, parties and events.
Prior to Ad age, Cotton was northeast editor for AOL's lifestyle and culture site, City's Best. Before that , she joined a nameless, stealth-mode startup that would soon be known as Patch, where she helped launch three sites in her hometown of South Orange, N.J.
She has been a reporter at The Jersey Journal (along with fellow Ad Age -er Jason Del Rey), covering Hoboken, transportation and writing the "Fix It" column. She speaks Portuguese and taught English in Vitoria, Brazil after earning a B.A. from Yale.
A few other things to know about Cotton: That's actually her middle name; her Dad named her for the legendary basketball coach Cotton Fitzsimmons, which she explains to someone on the phone at least once a week. Another thing: She's got a lot of pride for her home state, and she'll defend it from clichés in pursuit of ratings , as she once did for Ad Age in the story "Just How Bad is 'Jersey Shore' for New Jersey's Brand?"
She'll be taking up residence in Crain's newsroom in the awesome Hearst Building at Third and Market. You can meet her at Ad Age 's Digital Conference Sept. 20 in San Francisco and follow her on Twitter.