Media Mavens 2013

Jim Bankoff Brings Lush Print-Design Ethic to Web

Vox Media CEO Espouses Tech Tools to Embrace 'High-Fidelity Design'

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Count Vox Media among those spurring online media's continuing makeover. The digital-media company's properties, like sports-blog network SB Nation and tech-news site The Verge, have garnered praise for designs descended from print magazines and reimagined digitally.

Jim Bankoff
Jim Bankoff

At the center of Vox's ascent is CEO Jim Bankoff, 44, who has made a top priority the development of technological tools its editors and designers need to create the content they want to see online.

"We started embracing premium, high-fidelity design at a time when design was ignored on the web and it was all about optimizing pixels and not thinking about aesthetics," said CEO Jim Bankoff. "Now more publishers and media companies understand the importance of design." You see a lot of copycat stuff out there."

While Vox has left its imprint on the web -- The Verge was snowfalling before "Snowfall" -- the three-site company's footprint is relatively small. Mr. Bankoff said the company will open up new verticals but declined to provide details. "Nothing imminent," he said.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which magazines would you want most?
The old Spy magazine if it still existed. Otherwise The New Yorker.

Describe your daily media consumption.
I obviously start off with all of our sites and am constantly trying to keep up with all the content we produce. Beyond what we do, I'm on Romenesko, Mediagazer, Twitter, of course, Ad Age -- but also publishing trades like Digiday, and then longform journalism like The Atlantic and Pitchfork.

Which TV shows, if any, do you tweet?
I love to make snarky tweets during sporting events.

What device would you least like to drop into the tracks in front of an oncoming 6 train?
Apple iPhone 4S.

Which obsolete tech device do you wish you could have back?
Intellivision gaming console. And Polaroid cameras are underrated.

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