Business Insider brings in Aaron Gell to edit long-form features

Aaron Gell. ()
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Aaron Gell, former interim Editor at The New York Observer, editorial director at The Upswing and contributing editor at T Magazine, has been hired at Business Insider to lead an effort to bring magazine-style features to the site, Capital has learned. He starts Nov. 18.

“He is a highly experienced editor with great ideas, and the writers he has worked with rave about him,” founder Henry Blodget told Capital. “Aaron's mission will be to help us produce in-depth features that our readers love, and we can't wait for him to start.”

Following Capital’s report on Business Insider's six-figure investment in a features department, Blodget published this job listing soliciting applications from “All Excellent Magazine Editors.”

“I’ve been a loyal reader since the SAI (Silicon Alley Insider) days, and I’ve been incredibly impressed with BI’s recent long-form pieces, especially Nicholas Carlson’s Marissa Mayer profile,” Gell said. “When I heard the site was making a commitment to publishing more in-depth reported stories like that, I jumped at the chance to be involved. BI is an incredibly powerful platform, with north of 30 million monthly uniques. Henry and his team have done an amazing job building a truly sustainable journalistic enterprise, and they’ve got an extremely well-sourced and talented group of reporters. It’s a pretty phenomenal opportunity.”

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Upon starting at Business Insider, Gell said readers can expect a regular schedule of long-form features that amount to anywhere between 2,000 to 15,000 words.

“I’m attracted to great storytelling that enhances our understanding of what’s happening in the worlds of tech, media, the financial markets, retail, politics, science or essentially any other business-related
enterprise,” he said. “The territory is wide open, but the basic goal is to find great narratives and tell them with real style and intelligence.”

In addition to an influx of pieces written by regular staffers like Nicholas Carlson, Gell plans to reach out to freelance reporters. “Readers can certainly expect to see some new bylines on the site, whether through adding new staffers, building a deep bench of freelancers, or mostly likely both,” he said.

While at The Observer, Gell oversaw Observer.com and Politicker and had a hand in the launches of Betabeat and GalleristNY, in addition to editing features. He left The Observer late January, after being seemingly replaced by Ken Kurson, to consult for The Upswing, a fashion and lifestyle startup. Upon embarking on this next leg of his journey, Gell, who was also previously an editor at Radar and W, said he hopes to give Business Insider readers a deeper understanding of the “personalities and board room machinations that drive the news.”