David A. Wilson
Age: 33, Founder and Managing Editor
theGrio.com, New York City
If someone were to accuse David A. Wilson of being an interactive media guru, they would be correct. He is the founder and managing editor of the popular African-American Web site theGrio.com, which carries everything from social commentaries by noted scholars and journalists such as Dorian Warren and Earl Ofari Hutchinson to gossipy and salacious tales about celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Rapper Jay-Z. “Everyday, I facilitate editorial meetings and work to establish new partnerships, marketing strategies and other opportunities for the site and the brand,” he says. “I want to leave an imprint so deep that even the most cynical of people could never deny that my life’s work mattered.”
Perhaps it was this approach to life and legacy that inspired Wilson to pursue a career in media. He earned an undergraduate degree in communications from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., in 1999, and landed an internship with revered New York journalist Gil Noble. He credits Noble with schooling him on the ins and outs of the news business. While working for CBS News, he became frustrated by the “lack of attention to stories that reflected the Black community.” Wilson eventually left the world of network television to direct an independent documentary film titled Meeting David Wilson, which premiered on MSNBC and won a Radio-Television News Directors Association / UNITY: Journalists of Color Award. The film was a hit and resulted in a partnership between Wilson and NBC that gave birth to theGrio.com.
Wilson has big dreams for theGrio.com. “My goal is to establish theGrio as the most recognizable and reliable brand for news, information and perspectives that affect and reflect the African-American experience,” he says.
Favorite book: The Alchemist
Favorite sports team: Houston Rockets
What actor should play you in a movie: Anthony Mackie
Favorite song: “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder
Jeans/T-shirt or suit: Jeans/T-shirt
Dish you cook best: Lasagna