10/4/2012 2:22:00 PM Banks named managing editor of Mashable in NYC
by Ken Haggerty
Emily Banks, 2004 Cannon Falls High School graduate, was recently named Managing Editor of Mashable, a website (www.mashable.com) based out of New York City that ranks as 270th busiest in global internet traffic.
Mashable bills itself as a leading source of news for the "Connected Generation." Its website claims it gets 20 million monthly unique visitors and Mashable has a combined six million followers on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Banks, who joined Mashable in October 2010 as a copy editor, has quickly worked her way up as an assistant news editor, assistant managing editor and now managing editor, the number two position on an editorial staff of about 40.
The company was founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005 in Scotland as a news blog and has grown by leaps and bounds. Banks said in the two years that she has been with the company employment tripled from 30 to 90 in the company's Manhattan offices at Park Avenue and East 23rd. CNN was rumored to be interested in buying the site for $200 million earlier this year.
Banks was editor of an award winning version of the Lantern during her days at CFHS. Her Lantern advisor, Ellen Austin, has since moved on to Palo Alto High School in California but Banks keeps in fairly regular contact with her.
Banks went on to study journalism at the University of Minnesota and was editor of The Daily, one of the nation's largest and most acclaimed college newspapers.
After taking a job with the Eau Claire Leader Telegram and being laid off after six months, Banks moved to Athens, GA where her boyfriend at the time (now fiancee) was attending graduate school.
She worked for a Public TV station as a low-paid reporter and then for a suburban Atlanta twice weekly publication before moving again, this time to New York City where her fiancee was entering law school at NYU.
Emily says she was frustrated and ready to give up on journalism (she was walking dogs near her Brooklyn home to help pay bills) when she landed a job with the fast-growing Mashable.
Since then she's been engrossed in covering the news about Facebook, Google, Twitter, iPhones, and new delivery systems and strategies for using social media.
How does a small-town girl who grew on her parents' (Ron and Cathy Banks) farm isolated at the end of a gravel road in rural Douglas Township surrounded by acres of crops and woods deal with a fast-paced life and job in New York City?
"I love it," says Banks. "I never thought I'd end up here, but I love it. I like to have my time away to visit Mom and Dad, but after a few days, it just gets to be a little slow."
Banks says the Mashable staff is really young and all excited about their jobs and company, so it makes for a fun workplace. She describes Mashable as an innovative company covering an innovative industry so that means they're given a lot of freedom in what and how they cover news events.
The job comes with some nice perks, too. Recently she was a keynote speaker in New Zealand at a conference sponsored by the U.S. State Department designed to promote and enhance the social media industry, in which the U.S. is a leader.