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 equality. 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 1960s, 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.”
The Advocate launched in 1967 as a newsletter following a police raid on a Los Angeles gay bar. The newsletter soon morphed into a magazine and went national. The Advocate is the longest-running continually-published LGBTQ magazine and website, nabbing numerous journalism awards in its 51-year history.
“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., parent company of The Advocate, 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.”
During his tenure at Into, 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.
Stafford will start his role at The Advocate in late January, becoming the publication’s first African-American editor in chief.