It’s called The Daily Meal and it goes live on Oct. 15 with veteran food writer and Saveur co-founder Colman Andrews as its editorial director and former Forbes traveller managing editor Valaer Murray as the site’s managing editor. No word yet on the other editorial staffers Spanfeller previously told us he has lined up.
Spanfeller’s already caught some heat from competitors for bringing yet another online food title into an already crowded space. But he says his will be the first with “big scale” pageview power.
“You’d think there would be a 20-million unique page views food site. We think we can get our site to grow fast and fill that position,” he told us back in August.
Will he succeed? Seems like he’s off to a decent start with these initial hires.
Here’s the release with more details:
New York, NY (September 15, 2010)—Spanfeller Media Group (SMG) presents its first premium content site, The Daily Meal (thedailymeal.com). Internationally known food and wine writer and food magazine editor Colman Andrews will serve as editorial director of the site, which goes live October 15, 2010. He will be joined by food travel expert Valaer Murray as managing editor.
The Daily Meal will create a complete food experience for cooks, food lovers, wine connoisseurs, discerning diners and everyone in-between. With original content from staff, industry insiders, tastemakers and the user community, features will include restaurant and chef reviews, information on wine and cocktails, insight into seasonal ingredients, food travel recommendations and home entertainment advice, as well as a robust cooking section with techniques and recipes to suit any palate and every occasion.
“We’ve cherry-picked the best talent in the field to ensure that consumers get the best advice for their palette, whether they are dining in San Francisco or preparing a meal for friends in Maine,” said Jim Spanfeller, President & CEO, SMG. “Early in his career, Colman helped define food media on the print landscape, and I have no doubt he will have the same impact in the digital space. Under his leadership, The Daily Meal will blend eating in and dining out in a single destination for all things food.”
“I’ve been approached by countless food websites, real and imagined,” says Colman, “but The Daily Meal is the first one that really has all its ducks—and scallops and apples and tomatoes—in a row. I look forward to sharing my experience, and whatever I’ve learned about eating and drinking over the years, in this vibrant, professionally planned and executed contemporary context.”
Colman is best known for his association with Saveur, dubbed “the ultimate food magazine,” which he co-founded in 1994. During his tenure at the watershed publication, Colman won six James Beard Journalism Awards, and in 2000, Saveur became the first food magazine to win the American Society of Magazine Editors’ award for General Excellence. From 2006 until its demise in 2009, Colman was the restaurant columnist for Gourmet. He is also the co-author of three Saveur cookbooks and the author of six books of his own, including The Country Cooking of Ireland, named the James Beard Best International Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year in 2010, and Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food, which will be released this October. Since 1996, Colman has been a frequent presence on many nationally known TV shows, including The Today Show.
Formerly the Managing Editor of Forbes traveller, Murray has written and edited for publications including TravelandLeisure.com, ShermansTravel.com, AOL Travel, MSNBC.com, TodayShow.com, USAToday.com and Yahoo.com. She began writing restaurant and bar reviews for AOL CityGuide in 2003, has lived in Europe and South America and travels extensively around the world. In 2009, an article she wrote for Forbes traveller titled “Top European Heritage Tours” was nominated for a UK Travel Journalism Award.
“I had the great pleasure to work with Valaer at ForbesTraveler where she did an outstanding job,” added Spanfeller. “We will continue to build our talent pool to attract the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in content creation. With its singular focus and attention to the editorial team, The Daily Meal will serve as a model for upcoming SMG launches.”
The initial round of funding for SMG is led by SoftBank Capital NY, followed by Greenhill SAVP, RRE Ventures and Lerer Media Ventures, as well as a group of angel investors. Industry veteran Mike Perlis will serve as Chairman of SMG.
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