Saul Hansell is the founder and chief executive of Sii.TV, a video news startup he developed as an entrepreneur in residence at Betaworks.
He worked at AOL from December 2009 until October 2011. Most recently, he was the Big News Editor for the AOL Huffington Post Media Group. In that role, he supervised the Big News pages on Huffingtonpost.com and pages about news events, people, products, issues and other topics of interest on AOL’s network of sites. This role involved coordinating the work of technology, design, business and editorial teams to expand coverage of key topics, increase user engagement, and attract traffic from search engines and social recommendations. He also developed new ways to present video on Big News pages and helped produce original video for them.
From December 2009 through May 2011 he was the programming director of the AOL content platform. His main responsibility in that role was leading Seed.com, AOL’s site that enables writers and photographers to contribute to AOL’s network of websites as well and for other companies looking low cost, high quality content. He was a major architect for Seed 2.0, a completely new technology platform specifically designed for creating engaging and innovative reference content.
For Seed, Hansell organized and recruited a team of editors, analysts and producers that analyzes audience trends from AOL’s proprietary search data and develops new editorial concepts in conjunction with AOL editors. The team also manages the entire Seed editorial process, recruiting creators, assigning articles, screening them, sending them to copy editors, and producing the resulting webpages.
Among the projects to which Seed has contributed include interviewing more than 1000 musicians appearing in the 2010 SXSW music festival for Spinner, writing more than 400 biographical posts on 2010 election candidates for Politics Daily, and creating more than 300 celebrity profiles for Popeater.
Hansell has spent his entire career at the intersection of technology, business and journalism. His first professional job was covering consumer banking for Bank Letter in 1984, when the hot stories were the deployment of ATMs and the very first online home banking systems. He served as managing editor of Bank Letter and then Wall Street Letter. From 1987 to 1992, he was an associate editor and a senior writer ofInstitutional Investor, a monthly magazine about finance. Much of his work related to financial technology, database marketing, computerized trading and derivatives.
In 1992, Hansell became the banking reporter for The New York Times. In 1997, after a series of articles about Internet payments, he became the first writer at the Times to focus on electronic commerce. In that role, he chronicled the rise, crash and rebirth of Internet businesses, covering in depth the leading players including AOL, Yahoo, Amazon.com, Google and Facebook.
In 2007, Hansell was assigned by the Times to develop a strategic plan to expand the technology coverage of the newspaper’s website. He then led the implementation of that plan as the founding editor of the Bits blog.
Hansell’s September 1989 story on computerized trading, ``The Wild, Wired World of Electronic Exchanges,’‘ won the Overseas Press Club's Morton Frank award for best magazine business reporting from abroad.
He has also received awards from the Deadline Club of New York and the American Society of Business Press Editors.
He lives in Montclair, N.J. with his wife, Lynne Eisenbrand, and two daughters.
He blogs at SaulHansell.com
He tweets at @shansell