Ryan Schreiber is leaving Pitchfork, the worshipped indie music title he created almost a quarter century ago.
In a memo to employees on Tuesday, Bob Sauerberg, president of the publication’s owner Condé Nast, confirmed Schreiber would walk away from Pitchfork Media and its parent.
Schreiber shared the message from his Twitter account: “I am immensely proud of all we’ve accomplished with Pitchfork,” he wrote. “Its journey has been thrilling every step of the way, from its dial-up roots to its present-day status as an award-winning media company whose name is synonymous with the best in music journalism and events.”
He added, “I take comfort in leaving on a high note: Pitchfork is in the finest shape of its life with a team of outstanding writers and editors committed to continually elevating the form.”
I have some personal news to share today. Check out my statement below. pic.twitter.com/ooi0Dt5prN
— Ryan Schreiber (@ryanpitchfork) January 8, 2019
In an interview with Billboard, Pitchfork’s founding editor-in-chief said his decision to leave was about a year in the making. “I don’t want to be defined in my life by just one thing,” he explained.
Schreiber, now 42 years of age, hatched a plan for Pitchfork in November 1995 while working in a record store in Minnesota. The site went live a few months later and would go on to champion countless, edgy, underground and leftfield acts who wouldn’t rate a mention in the mainstream press. Its best-ofs and in-depth critical reviews are nourishment for music anoraks and indie nerds, and the site locked down its spot on the spectrum, not far from the likes of Billboard’s sister titles Spin and Stereogum, Chicago-based Consequence of Sound and Seventh Street Media’s The Brag. If you’re a Pitchfork regular, you’re a member of a music cult.
Pitchfork also lends its name to an annual music festival in Chicago, which launched in the mid-noughts.
The times have changed, and so has Pitchfork which is now operated by Condé Nast, the media titan (and Vogue owner) that purchased the company in 2015 for an undisclosed sum, and a new editor-and-chief Puja Patel came on board last September.
Schreiber remains cagey on his future endeavours. “I’ll always treasure what we’ve created and the wonderful friends I’ve made along the way. It’s been a wild ride for all of us and I’ll miss it, but looking to the future is a thrilling prospect. I’m excited to get to work on what’s next.”