The Verge Promotes Jake Kastrenakes, Alex Cranz, and Kara Verlaney

The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel announced several changes to the industry-leading tech publication’s masthead today, starting with the promotion of Jake Kastrenakes to executive editor.

Kastrenakes first joined The Verge as an intern in 2014 and has spent 10 years as a reporter and editor at the site, overseeing the news team, creators coverage, and the Hot Pod and Command Line newsletters. As executive editor Kastrenakes will be responsible for making sure The Verge’s newsroom meets the highest standards of rigor and quality every single day.

“The Verge audience has incredibly high expectations of us and our work, and Jake has spent his career overdelivering on those expectations,” says Patel. “Jake has already been instrumental in using new tools like our redesigned homepage, live StoryStream news feeds, and our growing collection of paid newsletters to innovate our coverage and build a deeper connection to our audience, and I’m excited to see him push even farther in his new role.”

Alex Cranz, currently managing editor, will move into the newly-expanded role of Deputy Editor, Tech, where she will oversee all aspects of consumer tech coverage, including The Verge’s exacting reviews program. “The heart of The Verge is a deep love for technology and culture coupled with a deep skepticism of power, and Alex is exactly the right person to lead our tech coverage into its next era,” says Patel. “She understands that caring deeply about how products work is instrumental in understanding what they might mean, and I’m excited for her to help us reinvent tech coverage for our next era.”

Kara Verlaney, currently editorial operations manager, will become the new Managing Editor and join The Verge’s leadership team to oversee newsroom operations and people management. “Kara is a capable leader, beloved manager, and the most terrifyingly organized person on the entire Verge team,” says publisher Helen Havlak. “She has managed some of The Verge’s most complex and ambitious projects of all time, including the recent ASME-nominated multimedia series The Year Twitter Died. She will be a key partner to Nilay and Jake in running a high-performing newsroom, and in pursuing our ambitious growth goals across a diversified set of business lines that includes editorial sponsorships, affiliate commerce, subscriptions, and licensing.”

This new leadership team will be tasked with continuing to grow The Verge’s direct loyal audience, a project Patel and Havlak believe to be critical to the future of The Verge’s journalism and business. The Verge has already made considerable progress against this goal in 2023 after an ambitious site redesign in late 2022. Loyal users grew a dramatic 47% from Q1 to Q4 of 2023, recently hitting a 13-month high in October 2023. Average time spent on The Verge homepage, which now features short-form “quickposts” from Verge reporters, increased from 6:39 in Q1 to an impressive 8:10 in Q4 2023. Other engagement metrics such as podcast downloads, site comments, and social video views all grew significantly year over year. According to Havlak, “At a time of major disruption to the way news is consumed and funded, The Verge’s direct loyal audience is our most valuable currency. We are in a very strong position going into 2024, and this new leadership team will support Nilay in delivering a consistently great product to our audience every single day.”


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