My name is Tony Haile, that is where I got the name for this site. I’m currently the CEO of Scroll, the company for that part of you that goes ‘yes journalism is important but goddammit if I have to wait 20 seconds for what turns out to be a clickbait vehicle for popup ads to load I’m going to punch something’. From 2009 to 2016 I worked for Chartbeat, where amazing people covered up my flaws with metronomic regularity.
I think a lot about media, economic models and the open web (this is less depressing than it sounds); I even speak about it on occasion, though this is principally because my British accent makes panels sound like Masterpiece Theatre. Leveraging the accent to the hilt, I’ve taught a course on newsroom strategy with Professor Emily Bell at Columbia University and am currently teaching a course on media disruption at Stanford with Professor Bill Grueskin. I’m also honored to sit on the board of the Institute for Journalism in New Media, which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer and media network, where we try to find new ways to sustain local journalism.
My career prior to startups has been somewhat bizarre. After a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews in which I spent a semester studying at a Palestinian university in the West Bank and narrowly avoided getting blown up (by both sides), I became a bowman on a round-the-world yacht race where I got to experience hurricanes, knockdowns, lightning strikes and being picked up by 90ft waves and thrown against wire rigging several times an hour. This is actually more fun than it sounds.
Searching for quieter pastures I joined Control Risks as the Editor of their Middle East and International Terrorism desk and promptly got embroiled in the response to 9/11 and the war in Iraq. I pulled out, roughly when Bush should have, and in 2004 partnered the awesome and highly-sponsorable Ben Saunders in various polar expeditions. As a result I have been to the North Pole, negotiated with vodka-fuelled helicopter pilots in Siberia, built a runway in Greenland, smuggled explosives through Heathrow and meat into Canada.
I was named one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company in 2012, one of Crain’s 40 under 40 in 2014 and one of the 10 sexiest men on Myspace by New Woman magazine in 2006. All were nice but you can judge the accuracy of the former two from the accuracy of the latter.
I have good dinner party stories, invite me.