Doug Norrie Steps Up To Lead As Walk Big’s New Executive Editor
May 2, 2022
May 2, 2022
Long time GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT Section Editor Doug Norrie has been promoted to head up Walk Big’s new Cornerstone Division as Executive Editor.
“Cornerstone content will be longer-form… content across all Walk Big websites,” explains Norrie of the new department. “These are the pieces that feature on each Walk Big site, engaging readers with the stories and subjects that live on beyond just a standard news cycle. It’s the stories readers want to keep coming back to, that are around for the long-term.”
Walk Big’s CEO, Josh Tyler, echoed Norrie’s description of the new department. “Cornerstone is a new department totally focused on creating the most in-depth, detailed content for ALL Walk Big sites.” Currently Walk Big owns and operates three content sites. GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT focuses mainly on daily entertainment news. The site also brings a science and technology element to it as well. TELL ME BEST “connects users to the best things in life using product information, reviews, and news.” Go2Tutors, a website designed around education and learning while also reporting on the latest news surrounding our nation’s education system. Doug will manage the most in-depth content on all three sites, working on the information our readers need outside the daily cycle of news.
Doug brings a wealth of life to the new department as well as a big dose of familiarity. Before starting as a writer, and eventually an editor, with GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT two years ago, Norrie was a key part of Tyler’s original team at CINEMA BLEND, before the company’s sale in 2015. “I had worked for Josh Tyler when he owned and operated CINEMA BLEND. I spent several years writing about movies and television over there before coming over to Walk Big.”
It was this familiarity that had Tyler reaching out to Doug when breathing life back into GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT. “I built an amazing team of people at CINEMA BLEND and Doug was a great part of it,” says Tyler. “We’d worked together successfully for years, right up until I left the company in 2016. When I relaunched GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT, I was looking for proven talent. At the time Doug just happened to be leaving CINEMA BLEND, and I was lucky he was available.”
Professionally speaking, it hasn’t all been writing and editing for Norrie, though he probably did a fair amount of it with his previous career. “I spent 14 years in public education as a teacher,” explains Norrie of another lifetime. During that time, Norrie ventured in another direction as well. “I also co-founded the sports betting and fantasy sports site Daily Fantasy Sports Rankings (DFSR.com). There I worked on creating and maintaining multiple data sets that produced projections for all major sports. This company allowed me to leave teaching. I currently still operate the site, writing and editing content as well as maintaining the projections.”
Sports plays a big part in Norrie’s professional background. He also started the We Got Nets podcast which “began as a passion project with myself and my co-host Adam Armbrecht” that saw them “being hired by the Locked On Network to produce Brooklyn Nets content on their platform.” As Norrie says, podcasting is something (another something) he has been doing for years. “Before Locked On Nets, I podcasted on the DFSR NBA, MLB, and NFL podcast depending on the sports that were in season at the time.” Busy much?
Juggling all those professional balls on their own can be quite an undertaking but adding in the fact that Doug is a family man makes life even more interesting. Especially given the fact that he, his wife Sabrina, and their two daughters, ages 11 and 4, live a very remarkable life. In one word, they call it “Worldschooling.”
“Essentially, we use experiences and places to inform what and how our kids learn. Having worked forever in schools, I’m totally convinced this is much more aligned with our own styles than traditional public (or even in classroom) schooling.” Norrie says over the past few years he and Sabrina have lived with their daughters in Bali, Thailand, Guatemala, and Mexico and it is a lifestyle they continue to this day.
“The impetus to start this lifestyle was my wife who has always loved to travel. We’ve met many, many families along the way and there’s something of a community out there of people traveling and meeting up in different spots.” Sabrina is a professional photographer specializing in outdoor and lifestyle photography at Outdoor Family Photography.com. It’s not all world traveling for the Norries. They own an RV and do their fair amount of boot-scootin’ across the United States as well.
Even with his eclectic family life, Norrie has remained a very important piece in growing and building Walk Big. “Doug has been one of our most prolific writers since joining GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT. His consistency and versatility was something we wanted to reward,” says Walk Big’s Chief Content Officer, Drew Dietsch.
Faith McKay, Walk Big’s new Editor in Chief for GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT is sad to lose his contributions as editor and writer for GFR but she keeps it all in perspective. “Doug is an incredibly hard worker. He’s easy to work with because he communicates expectations clearly, asking smart questions, so you can always trust he’s going to do what he says. It was inevitable that at some point he’d move up and we would lose him, but I’m grateful that he’s put in a lot of effort to help train others along the way.”
This leads us back to Walk Big’s new Cornerstone division. Both Tyler and Dietsch knew Doug’s past and present experiences will be vital in their vision for Cornerstone. “With the forming of our Cornerstone Content division,” says Dietsch, “we knew Doug would excel at leading it. His ability to cover a topic in its totality will be vital to making our Cornerstone Content the best on the web.”
Flexibility will also be key, says Tyler, and that is one more thing Doug brings to the table. “Doug is incredibly flexible as both a writer and an editor. Walk Big’s new Cornerstone Content division will work across all of Walk Big’s sites. That means it requires people who can think on their feet in a wide variety of different arenas while creating quality, useful content quickly and efficiently. That’s something I knew right away that Doug was perfect to lead.”
So, what role does the Cornerstone division play in the bigger picture of Walk Big? “The goal of cornerstone content is to create the kind of content that users want, explains Norrie. “It’s going to be longer-form and engaging, some of the most important content a site can have. Cornerstone content is meant to be at the heart of a solid… strategy, incorporating and interconnecting other pieces on the site into a cohesive structure.”
Writer, editor, podcaster, husband, father, and now Cornerstone Division Executive Editor. Watch this space to find out more about what Doug’s creating as Walk Big’s new cornerstone.