Female Duo Concoct Fresh Media Outlet

February 20, 2014 Features

One day, out of the blue, I started receiving emails from theSkimm. I must have had a news guardian angel. Suddenly, I knew about what was going on in the world. It took me under five minutes to skim through all of the world issues of the day. Feeling informed, I bragged about it to a few friends, one of which turned out to be the one who hooked me on theSkimm to begin with.

The headline of their website sums it up perfectly, “theSkimm is the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content.”

TheSkimm is a publication that goes out to readers every weekday morning via email in which the most relevant world events of the day are summarized. TheSkimm is run by its two female founders, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, who met while studying abroad during college. Post matriculation, they both landed what they had thought would be their dream jobs, working full time at NBC News. Little did they know that dream was small compared to the one they would concoct between the two of them. As many may have realized, the industry of the media is not the same industry it was even ten years ago. Instead of giving up on news altogether, they changed right along with the times and devised a different way to be involved. TheSkimm was born and they became a big deal, all while still in their twenties.

They found their target audience, others like themselves. “We noticed that our friends who are highly educated and leading in their respective industries would ask us for a rundown on the big events happening in the news,” said Weisberg. “Our friends are indicative of a highly sought after demographic, female millennials with money to spend who are short on time. We saw a huge void in the marketplace for a news product geared towards their routine and needs.”

The hardest part of starting theSkimm turned out to be taking the plunge and going for it. Weisberg continued: “The biggest challenge was actually making the decision to actually start theSkimm. NBC was like family. However, we both believed one hundred percent in our idea and that it was the right time both personally and professionally to start something.”

I tried to uncover their top secret list of sources: “We really look at everything out there—mainstream media, domestic, international, niche industry sources. Carly and I cover a lot of the same ground but also have separate lists we don’t share with each other.” I guess no one knows the entire list–they have got it locked up tighter than Alcatraz in its heyday.

Weisberg had wise words for our generation, and though we’ve probably heard it before, now is a good time to take action. “Network. That’s our big advice for any students or recent grads, but especially in media. It’s a small industry. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people at the top, but definitely take the time to make sure you have a solid background in the fundamentals of journalism. Now is the time to take that coding class and learn about how to edit your own video. It’s only going to make your applications stronger.”

To sign up for theSkimm, go to: http://theskimm.com.

Photo by  Sophie Elgort.

Rebecca Finer

About Rebecca Finer

Rebecca Finer 15' is a native of Orlando, Florida — studying Communications and Public Relations at Rollins College. Her previous internships include WESH 2 News and United Arts of Central Florida.

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