November 22, 2020

Article at Blog Post

[Podcast] "Do Not Be Dead in the Water" W/Jermaine Hall

In Search of Sauce welcomes Jermaine Hall! As a former EIC of Vibe Magazine, co-founder and former EIC of King, a former VP of BET and now co-founder and EIC of LEVEL, Hall had plenty of wisdom to impart on yet another installment of our bonus interview series. He gave us an inside look at his long career journey from front to back. We were eager to hear first hand about the incredible work that LEVEL is doing as a platform specifically driving difficult conversations for middle-aged black and brown men. With decades of experience as a lead editor, I especially wanted to get his own words about his perspective towards guiding the voice of his publications and his ability to spot talent in writers.


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On This Episode

I originally decided on journalism as a career path almost solely because of my interest in writing. When I first joined CentralSauce as contributing writer, I never really expected how quickly my involvement would grow. Being involved in behind the scenes production and working with the amazing writers in an editorial role has really opened up my career goals beyond just writing. That's why I was so excited for this opportunity to chat with one of the music media industry's most prolific editors. There's so much we can learn from persistent figureheads of the industry, like Jermaine Hall, that goes beyond just admiration for their contributions. I use each of these opportunities like an exclusive master class on the ideas and perspectives that make them so successful.

A quick look at Hall's career path shows a man who always hits the ground running and makes the most of every opportunity. He's held major leadership positions at a multitude of publications and even when he's not raising a new vision from the ground up, he's ambitiously changing the scale of operations with new ideas. As someone who has tried to bring similar energy to the opportunities I've been given, one of the questions I was most burning to ask him was how he balances his drive for pushing the envelope with the the people and operations already present. He explained how he lays out his vision in great detail but often remains open to his team's interpretation of filling it. Great creatives usually work best when given the room to remain flexible and innovative their selves.

As EIC, it's Hall's job to do the news-setting and oversee the voice of a publication. The responsibilities range from content creation to business management, but also include assessing the potential of new writers and the value of the conversations they want to bring to his platform. Due to the nature of LEVEL in particular as a driving platform for difficult discussions, I was interested to get his perspective on whether an editor should manage content with a light or heavy touch and how he knew when a particular editorial needed his personal voice. He shared with us how the publication is able to approach a wide range of content while maintaining a high bar of integrity for the conversations they platform. As I continue to grow as writer, but also pursue my newfound interest in editorial and publication management, Jermaine Hall will continue to be someone I look to as a inspiration and a scale for what I can do.


Thanks for reading, listening, clicking and washing your hands! Got feedback on the episode? Have your own thoughts on the content? Want to share some of your writing? Hit me up! Find me on Twitter @HooplaHill or use the "Contact Me" option on my homepage to reach out to me!