Two-year-old entertainment site ScreenCrush, which is owned by burgeoning radio and digital company Townsquare Media Group, has hired movie/television writer Mike Ryan, who recently left The Huffington Post amid a round of layoffs. Townsquare gets more than 65 million U.S. monthly unique visitors on its entertainment sites, according to Comscore.
Townsquare is run by executive vp Bill Wilson, the former AOL content business head who left after the Huffington Post merger. Townsquare acquired three AOL Music sites after the division was shuttered last April. Townsquare sites include Music Blog Network, Comics Alliance, Pop Crush, BoomBox, and JustJared.
Townsquare also acquired dormant ScreenCrush two years ago and hired Mike Sampson, a 12-year veteran of JoBlo, as editor-in-chief. He manages a staff of four plus five permalancers. "I needed a new challenge," says Sampson. "I wanted this site to fill a void out there with smart writing and criticism, original content and fun things too. We're not a fan boy site. We are seeking a wide audience as we try to get way from rushing quickly to post stories geared toward SEO and lists. That's why we brought Mike here, he's one of my favorite writers on the web. We love movies and TV and we hope readers feel that. We wanted it to be fun to go to work again."
Ryan, who has written for Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Elle-UK and New York, fielded a number of offers but chose to join ScreenCrush as Senior Editor, covering the film, television and culture beat with reviews and interviews--and yes, the “SNL Scorecard.” Added Ryan: “I can’t wait to get started.”
A redesign and a YouTube Channel, for which Ryan will contribute content, are in the works, Sampson said.