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Vulture Picks Off Movieline Editor Ahead of Launch

New York magazine blog hires Kyle Buchanan on day of standalone spin-off

New York magazine’s Vulture launched as a standalone website on Tuesday night, as expected (“New York Magazine Spinning Off Vulture").

Earlier on Tuesday, Vulture picked up Kyle Buchanan from Movieline, installing him as the site’s movie editor. The Los Angeles-based Buchanan was formerly chief film critic at The Advocate and a blogger for Defamer.

Here's the official launch release:

New York Magazine Culture Blog Spun Off as Vulture.com

New York, NY, September 22, 2010 – Last night Vulture launched as a full-fledged entertainment web magazine in its own right, completing its evolution from culture blog to a more complete multimedia experience. Vulture is unique in its sensibility, pedigree, and purpose, and positioned to serve the culturally-literate, tech-savvy consumer. With the online entertainment journalism space in a state of intense flux, Vulture seeks to claim a space currently occupied by no one else online, recognizing a demand from both consumers and advertisers for a national entertainment site for smart, passionate fans.

Vulture is now reachable at Vulture.com and debuts with a new homepage design that moves away from the blog format (displaying stories in strictly reverse chronological order) to a more sectional layout intended to showcase multiple departments. Showtime’s Dexter is Vulture’s launch advertiser.

“Vulture had clearly grown beyond its home at nymag.com, and its new design and identity acknowledge this,” says editor-in-chief Adam Moss. “We think there’s a real demand for the ‘smart populist’ territory Vulture occupies. Vulture takes low culture seriously, and isn’t reflexively reverent about high culture. It also recognizes that 21st century entertainment consumers are savvier about and more interested in how entertainment products are made than ever before.”

In addition to its bold new design Vulture launches with more daily content, vibrant graphics, a better integration of its critics, and a slew of new features. Among those debuting with the launch are Obsessive Guides— hubs for fans, featuring a mix of reader conversation, regular news updates, and deep dives into the minutiae of TV shows, movies, and personalities. The launch will feature fan pages for 30 Rock, Super 8, Gossip Girl and Glee, with hundreds more to follow in the next few months. A new email newsletter, Vulture Briefings, will be sent to select inboxes around midnight Eastern Time. For the first time, Vulture will incorporate a full-fledged review section, featuring weekly extra online-only reviews and commentary on movies, TV, theater, music art and books from New York magazine critics David Edelstein, Emily Nussbaum, Jerry Saltz, Sam Anderson and new theater critic Scott Brown. The new Vulture Recommends section will mix critic recommendations (from best plays to best viral videos) with celebrity picks such as James Franco’s favorite poetry and Sarah Silverman’s top 5 comedy albums.

Vulture launched as nymag.com’s culture blog in April 2007 and traffic has grown rapidly. In the last year alone unique visitors have more than doubled to 1.9 million and page views have more than quadrupled to 11.7 million (August 2010 vs. August 2009, Omniture SiteCatalyst).

Entertainment advertising has grown significantly at nymag.com—revenue in that sector is already up 47% year-to-date 2010 against full year 2009. Fashion, beauty, electronics, and travel have also been strong advertising categories at Vulture.