Zach Stafford, former chief content officer of Grindr, has been announced as the incoming editor-in-chief of The Advocate. The move makes Stafford, who was also the editor-in-chief of the Grindr-owned publication INTO, the second executive to leave the company in the past few weeks. Both departures follow Grindr president Scott Chen making headlines for statements about his views on marriage quality. INTO, then under the direction of Stafford, was the first to report on those statements.
“I have long respected The Advocate and the role the magazine played in the LGBTQ community, which started with their reporting on police brutality in the late 1960’s, a topic I’m intimately familiar with from my own work,” Stafford said in a release. “I am incredibly excited to lead The Advocate in reporting and storytelling on LGBTQ life around the world, even if it means ruffling a few feathers along the way.”
Both The Advocate and OUT are owned by Pride Media Inc.
“Zach is a tenacious and talented risk taker, journalist, and editorial leader who will help lead The Advocate to become the undisputed leader in the LGBTQ community for breaking news and in-depth reporting on the communities we serve,” Nathan Coyle, CEO of Pride Media Inc said. “Zach’s understanding and respect for the critical role The Advocate played in the LGBTQ community since its founding in 1967, combined with his proven talent for growing readership, positions the brand perfectly for its next historic chapter.”
Grindr launched INTO in August 2017 after months of a beta-period, publishing content to its homepage. For this new IntoMore.com hosted news publication, Stafford served as the founding editor-in-chief, hiring an extensive, award winning team.
During his tenure, Stafford, who had formerly served as the editor-at-large at OUT and as a contributor to The Guardian, spearheaded projects like Kindr, aimed at addressing discrimination in the app. That multi-step program included not only content, but a new set of guidelines surrounding profile text. In addition, the publication won awards for original reporting; in May, GLAAD recognized an article about a transgender student fighting discrimination in Maryland that INTO published.
Stafford will start his role in late January.