Man's New Best Friend Arrives in San Diego
Thrillist’s daily email newsletter delivers a single nugget of insider info to its 2 million subscribers each morning. Think Daily Candy, for guys. New Yorkers might get 200 words about a sleek new drive thru dry cleaner that also serves espresso. Londoners might learn of the local sneaker designer whose kicks will soon be featured at Bergdorf’s. Short, sweet and scoop-y, Thrillist is growing like gangbusters and now has local editions in 16 U.S. cities, including a spanking new edition here in San Diego with 10,000 subscribers signed up before the first email even went out. We spoke with local editor Kyle Hall recently about his new gig.
Thrillist’s daily email newsletter delivers a single nugget of insider info to its two million, mostly-male subscribers each morning. Think Daily Candy, for guys. Dude knowledge. New Yorkers might get 200 words about a sleek new drive-thru dry cleaner that also serves espresso. Londoners might learn of the local sneaker designer whose kicks will soon be featured at Bergdorf Goodman. Short, sweet and scoop-y, Thrillist is growing like gangbusters and now has local editions in 16 U.S. cities, including a spanking new edition here in San Diego with 10,000 subscribers already signed up before the first email even goes out June 17. We spoke with local editor Kyle Hall recently about his new gig.
Name: Kyle Hall
Job Title: Editor, Thrillist San Diego edition
Local ties: Grew up in Encinitas. Graduated La Costa Canyon High School.
Current residence: Bay HO.
He’s all about: Beer. And discovering the best mom-and-pops and independent craftsmen in San Diego
Q. How did you hear about Thrillist expanding into San Diego?
A. I took a job as valet manager at The Prado in Balboa Park in 2009 as a way to afford to move back to San Diego after graduating Cal Poly without having to take a random job and pigeonhole myself during a bad economy. It was a way for me to bide time while I looked for the right job. And then a friend of mine in New York told me about Thrillist expanding into San Diego. I had never really thought about journalism as a job, but I’ve always been a writer. Once I talked to the Thrillist folks and heard about the details of the job, it really fired me up. I realized that I had to get this job.
Q. How did you get the job, considering how many qualified writers and journalists and “scenesters” are out of work and competing for every available editorial job in the city?
A. I feel insanely lucky. I worked really hard to get it, no doubt, and had to spend almost three months sending writing samples, taking writing and editing tests, and lobbying the editors in New York. But I do recognize how fortunate I am.
Q. Is it hard to capture the essence of a place in 200 words?
A. It’s a challenge. It would be much easier to do it in a thousand words. Our guys expect certain things from our emails. They want to know about the food, the scene, the prices. But we have to whittle it down, make it smart, make it funny. We don’t mince words. And this is a unique job. You’re not just finding the stories and writing about cool places. You really have to be the face of Thrillist in your market.
Q. But Thrillist doesn’t publish bylines in the daily emails, right?
A. No. But I don’t need to have my name plastered out there with every piece I write. It gives a certain level of mystery. It keeps it fun.
Q. What’s your preferred scene in San Diego: North Park or North County?
A. That’s a tough choice. I love North Park. But my heart’s definitely in Encinitas and Cardiff, because I grew up there. But I love the scene in North Park and South Park. I love the art and the fact that economy is really stimulating people to start their own shops and get creative. I’m always on the lookout for great craftsmen and people who are independently creative.
Q. So what’s one of your favorite places in the city right now? What “thrills” you?
A. I love Hamilton’s. I’m a beer guy. It’s part of growing up in San Diego, I guess. My Dad was always drinking microbrews when I was growing up and my parents’ friends all brewed their own beer when my friends and I were little. But I’m always on the lookout for the awesome, independent shops and proprietors. We’re all about blowing up the mom and pop shops.