An experienced journalist with a track record of building online readership for news content on a national scale has joined the Chicago Sun-Times as chief digital strategist, the news organization announced Tuesday.
Matt Watson comes to the Sun-Times from Vox Media, where he has worked since 2011 in a variety of roles, including audience development for all Vox news, tech, sports and lifestyle brands, including Vox.com, The Verge, SB Nation and Eater. Most recently, Watson served as SB Nation’s managing editor for analytics.
Vox is valued at about $1 billion, with its various digital platforms drawing about 800 million page, video and other content views a month, according to company websites.
“People all over the country are excited about what we are trying to do here at the Sun-Times,” said CEO Edwin Eisendrath, who led an investment group that bought the Sun-Times and alternative weekly Chicago Reader in July. “Recruiting a person like Matt, with significant experience leading growth teams at Vox, says that we are serious about winning.”
Watson, 38, is among several hires to be announced in the coming days and weeks as the Sun-Times newsroom is reorganized to better serve readers both online and in print, Eisendrath said.
“Digital platforms are emerging and evolving at a faster pace than ever before,” Watson said. “My job will be to use the excellent journalism we already have at the Sun-Times and Reader and help it reach new audiences not only in Chicago, but around the country.”
A University of Michigan graduate, Watson worked for more than two years at AOL as national NBA editor. He also is founder of Detroit Bad Boys, a Detroit Pistons basketball blog eventually purchased by SB Nation. He has relocated to Chicago from Washington, D.C., and is beginning his duties at the Sun-Times this week.