A recent article by Rob Bricken giving his forecasts into how io9’s staff will die1 reminded me that I had no idea who would inherit io9 if Rob did accidentally get exploded during the filming of a Transformers film. So here’s my quick guesses on the line of succession, based mostly on how long people have been working at the Gizmodo Media Group.
Tentative io9 succession
1 io9 Editor Rob Bricken: first published on 19 November 2012. Rob has been there, continuously, for the longest, which is probably why he was handed the keys to the place when Charlie Jane left.
2 Senior Writer Evan Narcisse: Evan is unique because he was writing at Kotaku, then writing at Kotaku and io9, and then fully transferred to io9. He was first published at io9 on 7 May 2016. He was last published at Kotaku on 3 June 2016 and he was first published at Kotaku on 3 October 2011. So he’s been inside the Gizmodo Media Group for longer than Rob and, if Rob had to leave, would probably be next in line to be Editor-in-Chief.
3 Staff Writer Katharine Trendacosta: Katharine is unique for having two sets of time wherein she was writing for io9. She was first published as an author on 25 February 2013. Before that, she was publishing quick articles which were just a headline and some images; that was happening between 9 October 2011 and 5 October 2010. I’m not entirely sure she was gone from io9 during that late October -> early 2013 gap in publishing time. If she was, her year away from the Gizmodo Media Group decreases her seniority here; it might be the reason she is not a “Senior Writer.”
4 Staff Writer James Whitbrook: James is unique because he was writing at Observation Deck before he was hired onto io9. He was first published on io9 on 1 September 2014, he started contributing to the primordial Observation Deck on 27 June 2012, and if you really want to feel old he was posting on Kotaku back in June of 2009.
5 Staff Writer Cheryl Eddy: first published on 24 October 2014.
6 Staff Writer Charles Pulliam-Moore: Charles is unique because he was writing at Fusion before he was transferred to io9, and he was writing on Kinja before he was writing at Fusion. Charles was first published at io9 on 20 April 2017. Charles was last published at Fusion on 19 April 2017 and he was first published there on 3 June 2015. Charles started using the Kinja software on 13 May 2014. Charles got transferred so recently the About Gizmodo webpage hasn’t been updated to mention he works at Gizmodo (nor mention that two Gizmodo staff have left in the past month...)
7 Staff Writer Germain Lussier: first published on 22 June 2015.
8 Staff Writer Beth Elderkin: first published on 6 July 2016.
The Possible Gizmodo Usurpers
Of course, because it’s the Gizmodo Media Group and staff changes sometimes make no sense, a horizontal instead of vertical transfer of power might happen. Here’s who from Gizmodo has any posting history at io9 and thus could stage an usurpation event.
1 Contributing Editor Andrew Liszewski: somewhere in the great io9Gizmodo takeover he was given direct publishing access to io9. Kinja has no quick way of searching an author’s history _only at certain websites_, and cross-shared articles give false positives for the search function, so I am unsure when he first directly published at io9. He first published on Gizmodo on 11 October 2011, he has been here for a long time, all things considered, so he might be trusted enough to run io9.
2 Contributing Editor George Dvorsky: George has been publishing at the Gizmodo Media Group since at least 30 April 2012, and was primarily published at io9 until the reshuffling of staff in mid 2015 moved him over to Gizmodo.
3 News Editor Hudson Hongo: Hudson was very temporarily allowed to directly post on io9. He last published at io9 on 22 January 2017 and he first published on 24 August 2016. Before starting to write at Gizmodo on 24 August 2016, Hudson wrote at Gawker starting at least on 8 June 2014 although the deletion of search functionality at Gawker.com makes it difficult to track down the publishing history there.
Given how fluid employment within the Gizmodo Media Group is, and given how 2 of the last 3 io9 staff additions were transfers from another website, there’s also the possibility that someone not involved with io9 could be transferred over. Multiple people at Deadspin (Patrick Redford, Tim Marchman, Tom Ley) have written a little (or in the case of Patrick Redford, a lot) about Game of Thrones. Julianne Escobedo Shepherd at Jezebel has been covering Game of Thrones for a while. Jason Schreier at Kotaku has written about Game of Thrones. I am not saying that writing about Game of Thrones means you are qualified to run io9, but ... I am saying that Gizmodo Media Group might think all io9 does is write about Game of Thrones, which is inaccurate, because io9 also writes about The Walking Dead.
Update because I made an uh oh
Lauren Davis totally reminded me that she should be included.
Lauren Davis: Lauren is on a sabbatical from io9 as she works on a degree. She was last published at io9 on 6 October 2016, and was in charge for a weekend (24 and 25 September 2016); her earlier work at io9 ended on 21 January 2016 and it began on 28 June 2008. So she has 7.5 years of seniority and would be the most logical person to hand the keys to in the case of Rob’s unfortunate demise. If the Gizmodo Media Group was interested in rewarding seniority.
(cue paragraph here about how logic and seniority have no bearing on how jobs work)