Day in the Life: Yahoo Finance editor Andy Serwer talks Brexit, working at Yahoo

andy serwer article
Serwer. (Photo: Yahoo)

Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer admits that, yes, working there has its challenges.

“At Yahoo, there’s a lot of stuff going on,” he told Digiday, in reference to the near daily stories of layoffs, shuttering of content verticals and its hazy future. “Bu we tend to block that out and focus on the work we’re doing.”

He added, “Look at every single company on the planet. They’re always rejiggering and restructuring, and we tried some stuff here; some of it worked, and some of it didn’t.” 

In fact, Yahoo Finance is one of its bright spots. The vertical pulled in 71 million U.S. visitors last month, according to comScore. Serwer oversees an editorial staff of 18 people, with plans to hire more.

Serwer joined Yahoo in February 2015 following a 29-year stint at Time Inc.’s Fortune Magazine, saying that he was attracted to working for a “digital native” company.

In total, Yahoo Finance produces 150 articles and videos — a mix of studio-based shows, live streams and social clips — every week. “We are the video platform for business news,” he said. “While a lot of people talk about doing over-the-top, we’re doing it at scale and getting hundreds of thousands of views during big news days.”

There has been no bigger news day recently than the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. With the Brexit decision still reverberating in the markets, Serwer suggested to the financial markets to keep calm and carry on. “The economic damage and damage to the U.S. markets won’t be so profound,” he said. “Britain is important, but it’s not that huge a piece of economic activity.”

Here’s what he did last Thursday, slightly edited for clarity and length: 

5:45 a.m.: Wake up. I check my email, Slack notifications, and Yahoo Finance (while still in bed I’m sorry to say.) My team loves using Slack to communicate on work matters but also to share crazy stories. Then I head out for a run in Central Park. Come back. Drink green juice. (I know, I know.)

6:45 a.m.: Start getting ready for my day. At this point, I’m already communicating with my team about stories and logistics. Hey, business news starts early!

7:30 a.m.: Jump on the C/B train to the Yahoo offices in Times Square.

8:00 a.m.: Arrive at Yahoo. First check in with the producers as we prep for our daily live morning show, Market Movers, a look at the news of the day before the opening bell.

8:30 a.m.: Live on air! Today, we’re discussing the upcoming Brexit vote. We had scones and clotted cream to honor the occasion, brought to us by team member Clara Colbert. Jolly good!

Serwer appears on one of Yahoo's shows. (Photo: Yahoo)
Serwer appears on one of Yahoo’s shows. (Photo: Yahoo)

9:00 a.m.: Meet with team for our editorial meeting. We gather as a group every morning to review pitches for the day. It’s an opportunity for everyone to share ideas for stories and collaborate. Our team does both text and video, so we might be talking about live shows or shoots, and/or just reporting and writing. We also love to discuss some of those ‘out there’ stories as well. Today, we had a convo about the Unabomber calling an impersonator a “creep.” What?

10:00 a.m.: Conversation with Product leader Charlie Hartel. We’re always trying to figure out ways to work better together. Go to make up room for touch-up make-up for an upcoming interview. My co-worker, Katie Couric, compliments me on my blue shoes. Nice!

Noon: Midday Movers show begins. I’m not appearing on the show today but checked it out from my desktop.

12:30 p.m.: Lunch at the Lamb’s Club with Juliana Chen, an executive at Pfizer. I mentioned to her that HBO CEO Richard Plepler often comes here, and, lo and behold, there he is when we walk in. The three of us gossip a bit and talk about Pfizer, Yahoo and HBO. It’s like “Game of Thrones” in there!

2:30 p.m.: Respond to emails. Always more emails. Today, I reply to Warren Buffett about an interview coming up with him. Ask Chuck Leavell about some upcoming Rolling Stones shows. And set up a dinner with former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack and his wife, Christy.

3:00 p.m.: Checking on news stories. The markets are strong ahead of the Brexit vote. (Little do they know…) Get sidetracked by a story about Burger King introducing a Mac N’ Cheese puff that my team shares in our Slack channel. Check in with managing editor Sam Ro about a meeting with our superstar Tech reporter, David Pogue.

4:00 p.m.: Final Round Live! Our last live show of the day (yes, that’s three a day!). We did a special edition today regarding Brexit. We talked about how the markets are betting that Brexit isn’t going to happen (they were wrong), and ran a clip from my interview with Tony Blair.

Yahoo's homepage following the Brexit.
Yahoo’s homepage following the Brexit.

4:30 p.m.: Internal meeting about Brexit planning. We’re doing a special live show tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. to report on the results of the Brexit vote. In this meeting, I’m talking to producers, reporters and the studio team to make sure the show will rock.

5:30 p.m.: Head out for a quick drink at Parkview Lounge in Columbus Circle with old pal Bob Kubacki, a salesman with [the door and window company] Pella who’s visiting from Indiana. Bob was a legendary quarterback at our alma mater, Bowdoin College.

6:15 p.m.: Then zip over to dinner at Marea with some Chinese media executives.

10:00 p.m.: Check in on the Brexit vote. Uh oh, this is starting to look like Brexit will happen, which means tomorrow will be crazy.

More in Media

How a work platform redesigned BuzzFeed’s former offices after moving in

Work platform now occupies the former office space of BuzzFeed.

Media Briefing: 2024 publishers’ guide to selling at Cannes

Publishers’ sales teams will descend on the Croisette in Cannes next week. This is how they’re planning to pitch marketers.

Apple’s AI-hype at WWDC underlines its position as the final boss of Big Tech

The dreaded ‘web eraser tool’ did not materialize, but privacy continues to cloud insights on Apple users.