Who is behind The A.V. Club?
Editorial Director Josh Modell
Executive Editor Laura M. Browning
Editor Sean O’Neal
Senior Editor and Head of Video and Podcasts Marah Eakin
Film Editor A.A. Dowd
Food Editor Kevin Pang
Gameological Editor Matt Gerardi
Internet Culture Editor Clayton Purdom
News Editor Katie Rife
TV Editor Erik Adams
Editor-At-Large John Teti
Staff Writers Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Esther Zuckerman
Deputy Managing Editor Caitlin PenzeyMoog
Assistant Editors Danette Chavez, Gwen Ihnat, Alex McCown-Levy
Copy Editors Laura Adamczyk, Kelsey J. Waite
Social Media Manager Meg Brett
Social Media Coordinator Julia Nelson
Web Producer Baraka Kaseko
Contributing Writers Sam Barsanti, Mike D’Angelo, LaToya Ferguson, Kyle Fowle, Zack Handlen, Will Harris, Jesse Hassenger, William Hughes, Noel Murray, Dennis Perkins, Oliver Sava, Caroline Siede, Mike Vago, Annie Zaleski
What is The A.V. Club?
The A.V. Club is an entertainment website. You can view it online by directing your computing device to www.avclub.com.
What does A.V. stand for?
“Audiovisual.” Back in olden times, a school’s audiovisual club would be composed of a bunch of geeks who actually knew how to run the filmstrip and film projectors, and were typically deeply involved in things like audio fidelity and newfangled speakers. We’re proud to carry on the tradition of people immersed in pop culture and entertainment media to a somewhat obsessive degree.
So the stuff you write is all fake, like The Onion’s “news,” right?
No. Not even a little. The A.V. Club is published by Onion, Inc., and is a proud “sister publication” of The Onion, but The A.V. Club features real interviews, reviews, features, and other entertainment-related articles.
Huh? So what’s it have to do The Onion?
The Onion has had reviews since its earliest days. In the mid-’90s, that review section became a philosophically aligned publication of its own, dedicated to following entertainment culture down its various side and back roads.
Where is it based?
We have contributors from all over the country, but Chicago is our home base.
Help! I can’t see comments!
If you can’t see any comments, it’s likely that you have a browser plugin that is blocking the comments from loading. This happens from time to time, generally with plugins that block trackers. If you’ve disabled plugins, and still can’t see the comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help! I can’t comment! What should I do?
If your Disqus account is acting up, try checking their Knowledge Base page. If that fails, contact them via email or on Twitter. The A.V. Club rarely bans user accounts or blocks IP addresses, except in the case of consistent trolling, abuse of staff or other users, or spam. However, we are seeing a very occasional Disqus bug that auto-bans users it mis-identifies as spammers, often based on content that was cut-and-pasted and repeatedly posted, or that looks like spam to its filters. If you receive a message that your account has been banned and you aren’t sure why, send us a message via the Contact Page with your user name and the email associated with it, and we’ll look into it. Note: You’re much more likely to receive a response if that email isn’t threatening or insulting — in other words, if you don’t sound like someone we would have banned on purpose.
One of your ads is broken / offensive / annoying / uncloseable / taking over my screen, etc.
Sorry. It happens sometimes. Please email email@example.com.
Why do you delete comments?
This site used to have no comments section. We posted our content, but never really heard much about it. Oh sure, the occasional e-mail would trickle in, and we knew we had some readers, but it felt a bit like sending our material out into the void. And that was sad.
Then we added the comments sections, and we started to hear from our readers. And hear, and hear, and hear. And we were delighted. No, seriously. We love the comments section. We love hearing from you. And we love that the pieces we post are starting points for longer, deeper discussions. The A.V. Club name began as a bit of self-deprecation, but we’ve come to take the “club” aspect seriously. It’s your site too.
Up to a point. Here’s the deal: We strive to cover pop culture with intelligence and wit, and we assume that that’s what brought you here in the first place. It’s our obligation to make sure the site reflects that goal, and abusive/offensive/obscene posts just don’t contribute to that. These are the posts we delete, and we reserve the right to define those terms however we see fit.
We’re here because we can’t stop writing about our obsessions with music, movies, video games, and the like. Let’s keep the focus there. There’s a lot more that unites us than divides us, so do we really want to get bogged down in tedious internecine battles over the right to use racial slurs or talk about the fuckability of our interview subjects?
While we reserve the right to delete any comments, these are the things we’re most likely to target:
- Flagrant attacks on other commentators, staffers, or interview / review subjects, particularly aggressive, insulting posts with absolutely no other point to make. Unacceptable: “You’re a dick!” Acceptable: “Only a dick would watch Con Air six times in a row!” Better: “You watched Con Air six times?! You should’ve taken IQ tests before and after to see how it affected you.”
- Offensive commentary on interview / review subjects, including but not limited to ad hominem thoughts on how they look, how they might smell, and exactly what you’d like to do to them in the sack. Hate on their work all you want, but attacking them for their appearance is childish, and providing detailed commentary on your sexual reaction to them is, well, icky. If you did that at our party at our house, you wouldn’t be invited back.
- Racist, homophobic, or sexist remarks. Don’t assume that everyone else gets your sarcasm, irony, over-the-top tone, etc. Maybe if we knew you personally, we’d know that your consciously offensive statement is actually a gag, but you aren’t really like that in person. Online, it’s impossible to tell. Attack comments don’t get a free pass just because you “didn’t really mean it.”
- Blatant trolling.
- Blatant plugs for your own website that don’t relate to the topic at hand.
One more thing to keep in mind: We can’t be everywhere at once. So we don’t necessarily have time or attention to delete everything that might fit under our guidelines. And comments aren’t “moderated” here in the sense that someone has to actively approve them before they appear to the public. So just because an offensive comment made it past us doesn’t mean we actively approved of it, and it doesn’t mean we won’t delete similar comments in the future.
TL;DR answer: Be passionate, but be kind. Have fun. Learn from each other. And remember there is an actual human being on the other end of the line. The comments work best when people do these things.
Will you review my CD / book / movie / poetry / pottery?
Maybe. Probably not. But maybe. Please bear in mind that we’re presented with an enormous amount of material every day, so it’s simply impossible to respond to every item that crosses our desks, much less review it. Items for review consideration can be sent to The A.V. Club at our Chicago office (The A.V. Club, 730 N. Franklin St., 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60654), but we absolutely cannot guarantee that anything you send us will be covered.
What does “Gameological” mean?
In 2011, we spun off our Games section into a sister site called The Gameological Society. With our late-2013 redesign, we brought it back into the fold but kept part of the name.
Didn’t you guys put out a book?
We have three books out under the A.V. Club banner. The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment’s Most Enduring Outsiders collects dozens of our best early interviews with the longtime survivors of the entertainment industry, with a deliberate theme running throughout, from cynicism and bitterness to optimism and philosophical contentment. It came out in late 2002 and is still available in stores and through online retailers.
Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, And 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists followed in 2009. It features some of our most popular Inventory lists, plus a variety of new lists that never appeared online, including our lists of essential books about film, music, and television.
And check out Nathan Rabin’s My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man’s Journey Deep Into The Heart Of Cinematic Failure, published in 2010 and available in softcover or in e-book form. Like Inventory, it includes some of the most popular columns from Nathan’s My Year Of Flops feature, plus a ton of book-only content.
I’m a big fan of someone you interviewed. Can you put me in touch with him/her, or pass on my idea for a book / album / show / film?
Sorry, no. It’s rare for us to receive any personal contact information for our interview subjects. In the instances where we do have this information, we do not give it out, nor can we pass on messages, project pitches, etc.
Can I work for you?
We very occasionally have job openings we’re looking to fill. See the jobs page for details. It updates as new openings become available. We are not currently accepting pitches from new freelancers.
What’s up with these “sponsored posts” I’ve been seeing on the site?
Our advertisers wanted (read: demanded) to buy “sponsored posts,” so we started offering them. Since digital advertising is what keeps The A.V. Club rolling, we’re sure you’ll understand.
We’ll never try to fool you into reading sponsored content. These posts will be clearly labeled, so that those who’d like to will be able to easily avoid them. There will be boxes around those stories, and the words “sponsored content” (or the equivalent) will appear near them.
We understand if you don’t want to click on them, though they’ll be written by staff and freelancers in such a way that hopefully you can get something out of them (beyond sweet, sweet brand awareness). If something is not labeled “sponsored post,” it means that relationship doesn’t exist. If we happen to write about movies inspired by Die Hard the week that Die Hard 5 comes out, that’s just us being timely.
Occasionally an advertiser will sponsor entire sections or series. We do not consider this a sponsored post—they just want to be around our idea because it’s awesome. Advertisers do not get any editorial input on these content packages.
Another way we distinguish sponsored posts from regular posts is by disabling comments. There are arguments to be made on both sides of this, but let’s just say it’s easier, and that Frank Sennett makes some really good points about it (and everything else related to sponsored posts) in this article.
What’s up with these Amazon links?
People often ask how they can help support The A.V. Club. When you click on an Amazon link on our site, we may get a portion of any resulting purchases. In legalese, that means that The A.V. Club is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. In plain language, it means that you’re supporting The A.V. Club when you click through to Amazon, and we appreciate it.
You didn’t answer my frequently asked question.
Really? Sorry. Visit our contact page to send us a message. Be sure to select “Technical problem” if you’ve encountered a bug or a broken link on the site.