Now that its been announced, I can share some details with you about Aaron Task, Yahoo Finance‘s new and first Editor-in-Chief.
I have known and worked with Aaron for over a decade, beginning with my early days as a contributor to TheStreet.com. Aaron was the Managing Editor — and one of those rare birds who actually made your work better, as opposed to merely different.
When I was tapped to write Bailout Nation, I wanted to make sure I was on the proper path, so I asked Aaron to be my editor. However, he was much more than that — he kept the project focused, structured and relevant to the key underlying issues (as opposed to my own tendency towards digressions and rambling off-topic parentheticals, not that they aren’t interesting and informative but they can sometimes get unwieldy and irrelevant, and of which this present one is a perfect example).
Aaron’s managerial background — in print, video, and online — means he is well suited to do the same for the sprawling and sometimes messy Yahoo! Finance. I expect he will bring the same discipline to it that he did with me: Keep it focused, well-structured and relevant.
As much as Yahoo! has been criticized over the years for being somewhat dysfunctional, Yahoo! Finance remains the #1 financial news destination online. They generate a whopping 36.7 million unique visitors a month. No one else is even close to their size and numbers and influence — even without an internal social component and only modest mobile offerings. This means the job of editor-in-chief is important — not just to Yahoo, but to the financial community as a whole.
I know Aaron pretty well, and based on my experience working with him, I can make a few educated guesses as to how he might steer Yahoo Finance:
1. New voices and sources
2. More original content
3. Tighter technology integration, including social & mobile
4. More strategic partnerships
5. Stronger overall structure and focus
That is just my hunch, but its a well founded one. I hope whoever his business counterpart is at Yahoo Finance is up to the job.
Congrats on the new gig Aaron — don’t let the awesome new responsibility you have assumed prevent you from making bold choices or making big bets.
Good luck !