Amy O’Leary, a digital deputy editor at The New York Times’ international desk, will join Upworthy as editorial director beginning Feb. 9, the website announced in a press release Tuesday.
Upworthy is hoping that O'Leary, who arrives at the viral content site following a period of staff cuts and restructuring at The Times, will help to "bring important stories and causes to millions of people through compelling, engaging content." In March 2014, O'Leary helped author The Times' "Innovation Report," a 96-page document which spoke of the need to compete with cutting edge digital publications like BuzzFeed and Vox and, according to Upworthy, solidified O'Leary's place as a "visionary digital strategist."
Prior to working at The New York Times, O'Leary also served as a producer at the WBEZ radio program "This American Life."
"Ultimately, when Upworthy’s been successful, it’s because the stories, videos, and graphics we share strike a deep chord," Upworthy cofounders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley wrote on the site's blog. "Amy’s going to lead the charge in making that chord even more resonant, and help us move from a few powerful chords to a full song."
O'Leary shared her excitement for stepping into Upworthy's top editorial position, while also taking time to praise her former employer.
"The Times is an impressive and formidable journalistic institution; its coverage often produces huge and important change -- probably more than any other news organization in the world," she wrote following the news of her hire. "For me, at Upworthy, there's an opportunity here to take the cutting edge of storytelling even farther -- to take centuries-old wisdom about how to capture attention, how to surprise, delight, and satisfy an audience, then share those ideas in a way that makes them stick."