Ahead of a season packed with awards and election coverage, Time magazine has set two new chief critics for its digital and print entertainment offerings.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephanie Zacharek leaves The Village Voice to become Time’s film critic, while current TV staffer Daniel D’Addario moves to a role as television critic, editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs told staff on Monday.
“There is so much terrific film and TV being created. Helping people decide what’s worth their time is incredibly important,” Gibbs told TheWrap. “I take very seriously that you can’t pass a bus in Manhattan without a quote from a Time critic on it.”
Gibbs said Zacharek will position herself to an audience that is “broad and diverse and global” when she joins the team next week.
D’Addario, a former Salon.com writer, has been on Time’s TV staff for a year, covering everything from “Game of Thrones” to Ariana Grande‘s donut scandal.
Gibbs said one of his top priorities in the new year will be ongoing critical analysis of the 2016 presidential race.
“We did 30 stories on the Presidential debates, and that includes a TV piece, examining it as performance art,” Gibbs said. “TV is the medium by which a great many voters are encountering these candidates.”
Read the full memo Gibbs sent to staff on Monday:
From: Nancy Gibbs
To: TIME Edit Staff
Re: Staff Announcement
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of two new staff critics: Stephanie Zacharek, who will write about film, and Daniel D’Addario, who will write about television.
Stephanie comes to us from the The Village Voice, where she has been chief film critic for Voice Media Group’s nine weekly papers since 2013. A finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for criticism, she earned the judges’ praise for her incisive commentary on films ranging from Chris Rock‘s Top Five to the Khmer Rouge documentary The Missing Picture to a look back at The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night on its 50th anniversary. Prior to the Voice, Stephanie reviewed films for Salon and Movieline. A native of Syracuse and a graduate of Syracuse University, Stephanie recalls at age 12 seeing Pauline Kael on Dick Cavett’s talk show and being captivated by her pioneering New Yorker reviews. Although she thinks the auteur theory “is overrated to the point of meaninglessness,” Stephanie finds pleasure in the work of Preston Sturges, Satyajit Ray, Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino and Orson Welles–though she is quick to note that she is “more The Magnificent Ambersons than Citizen Kane.” Stephanie’s first day as TIME’s film critic will be Nov. 16.
Dan arrived at TIME just over one year ago from Salon, where he established himself as a vibrant voice on pop culture over a two-year stretch. Prior to that he worked at The Observer as a reporter and earned dual degrees in English and American Studies at Columbia University, where his undergraduate thesis was on “the depiction of Richard Nixon in the paranoid cinema of the 1970s.” Since joining our staff as a culture writer, he’s turned out provocative pieces on Ariana Grande‘s donut scandal, Atticus Finch’s newfound bigotry in Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman and the “perfect marriage” between Jon Stewart and HBO. Dan grew up in Farmington, Connecticut, loving The Simpsons, Seinfeld and Alias. He has since moved on to the “outsized plotting” of Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Scandal, along with cutting social satires such as Veep and Inside Amy Schumer. Dan’s first official day as TV critic is Nov. 9.
Stephanie and Dan join a long line of influential TIME critics, a legacy that includes Richard Corliss on movies, Paul Gray on books and Robert Hughes on art. We are so excited to welcome them to this distinguished lineage of cultural commentary.