Insider global editor in chief Nicholas Carlson sent out the following on Monday:
I have great news! The new editor-in-chief of Insider’s Life division is Joi-Marie McKenzie.
Joi-Marie started at Insider just over two years ago as our Deputy Editor for Entertainment, following an impressive career at Essence, Good Morning America, and ABC News. Joi-Marie is an award-winning journalist, having won a Daytime Emmy Award and several Edward R. Murrow Awards.
At Insider, Joi-Marie has made an immediate and lasting impact, elevating our entertainment and celebrity coverage in terms of both quality and engagement. She’s done so by being a knowledgeable, resourceful, and demanding editor, yes, but also by being an empathetic leader who gets the most out of her team by seeing, hearing, and motivating them on a one-by-one basis.
Insider is a publication for and by enterprising people, and Joi-Marie is absolutely one of those.
She’s demonstrated this from the beginning of her career — when she started a local nightlife blog — through this year, when she imagined and then launched Insider’s first digital celebrity cover, featuring Serena Williams.
In 2021, Joi-Marie helped edit and manage the production of a database titled “259 LGBTQ Characters in Cartoons That Bust the Myth That Kids Can’t Handle Inclusion.” This package earned Insider our first finalist nod from the American Society of Magazine Editors’ annual National Magazine Awards.
Joi-Marie is a visionary with huge ambitions for herself, for her division, and for Insider. And through creativity and persistence, qualities she has in abundance, I am confident she will make those ambitions a reality.
Joi-Marie beat out several deeply impressive internal and external candidates, including the former EICs of major lifestyle publications.
She did it thanks to an undeniable track record here and elsewhere, and by presenting a plan for the division built around “exclusives, excellence, and evolution.”
The plan, she wrote in her memo for the job, is to improve day-to-day coverage, mix in more exclusives, and gather momentum to go for more of what she calls “stretch ideas,” the features, packages, series, projects, investigations, and databases that can set Insider’s Life division apart.
Quoting “Mean Girls,” one of her favorite movies, and one Insider readers dearly love, Joi-Marie says, for the Life division, “the limit does not exist.”
“In the years to come, we’re not thinking small. We’re here to make excellence look effortless and success look simple,” she said.
Now you know why I’m so fired up!
I am grateful to the members of our Life team who offered feedback on what they thought we needed in a leader, as well as some who were deeply involved in this search: Fritzie Andrade, Jennifer H. Cunningham, Emily Cohn, Julie Zeveloff, Lyndsay Hemphill, and Leah Goldman.
Joi-Marie is finishing up a parental leave and will start in her new job toward the end of October. I can’t wait!