Alexis Madrigal, who was poached by Fusion in 2014 as part of a large hiring spree, is returning to The Atlantic, where he’ll write about technology, science, business and trade. He’ll work from Silicon Valley and report to The Atlantic’s science, technology and health editor Ross Andersen. A star at The Atlantic, Madrigal was promoted to deputy editor after having served as tech editor there months before he was poached by Fusion.
“I spent a few years trying all these media forms like TV…and podcasting,” Madrigal said of his time at Fusion. “I don’t like TV. I do like podcasts, but I’m so happy to get back to writing. I’ll be doing live events, too, [at The Atlantic].”
Although he did call out the long-form podcast he’s been working on at Fusion called “Containers” as some of his best work ever, Madrigal said he’s looking forward to returning to his journalistic roots and his “family” at The Atlantic.
“Journalism and media are conflated as the same thing [today],” he said, explaining that journalism involves reporting and making sense of subjects while media may involve aggregating without accountability.
“I think one thing, and this isn’t specifically because of Fusion, is that I want to do journalism and not media,” Madrigal continued. “The Atlantic is obviously a place for journalism. So many places take journalistic forms but not responsibilities and I don’t even mean sponsored content.”
At The Atlantic, he’ll explore the nexus between politics and technology, in addition to how technology is impacting the world, while also holding that industry accountable.
At Fusion, Madrigal began as its Silicon Valley bureau chief and executive producer. He became editor in chief of Fusion in 2015, a role he held for just over a year and a half before ceding the job in October to Dodai Stewart and becoming editor at large of Fusion Media Group. A month later, Fusion cut 70 jobs and was folded into Gizmodo Media, also known as the old Gawker Media sites, after Fusion’s parent company Univision bought the old Gawker Media sites in bankruptcy auction in August for $135 million and renamed them Gizmodo Media. Stewart retained the role of editor in chief but she was overseeing a much slimmed down staff.
The changes keep coming at the media company, which includes a quirky collection of sites from sports-centric Deadspin and Gizmodo, a tech site, to the women’s focused Jezebel and Fusion, which is aimed at multicultural Millennials. Last week, the departure of Kate Drummond, Gizmodo Media’s executive managing editor, for Josh Topolsky’s digital venture The Outline, caused staffers, who had joined a union, to send a letter criticizing the company for not promoting Drummond to the role of executive editor, a job she had been doing for months without a title change or salary boost.