What is Topix?

Topix is a technology company focusing on entertainment and news media. Every month, more than 18 million highly engaged users spend an average of 13 minutes per session browsing Topix's growing collection of high quality content about celebrities, pop culture, the offbeat, health, current events, and more.

Topix is a company retooled from the ground up to succeed in today's media landscape.

Welcome to Topix!

Topix in 90 seconds:

Meet The Topix team

Topix Management Team

Chris Tolles, CEO

Chris is CEO and co-founder of Topix, which he has led since 2007. He joined the founding team in 2004, when Topix launched as an aggregated news site, later becoming the biggest community news site in the U.S. Chris then steered the company to become a high-growth, editorially driven entertainment site leveraging the largest audience platforms on the Web.

Before Topix, Chris co-founded Spoke Software, the first enterprise-focused social networking company. Prior to Spoke, he co-founded the Open Directory Project, the most extensive human-edited directory of the Internet, and sold it to Netscape/AOL. His sales and marketing career began at Sun Microsystems, where Chris rose to become head of marketing for Network Security products. He has a degree in Computer Science and Economics from the University of California at San Diego, where he was awarded the Michael Addison Award for his thesis on the structures of the electronic-information industry. Chris is a native Northern Californian, a long-term San Francisco resident, and an Eagle Scout.

Steve Rubinstein, COO

At Topix, Steve oversees day-to-day business, revenue operations, and strategic management. He brings leadership and engineering experience from many different industries and software types, including gaming console, shrink-wrapped and Internet software. He also volunteers with the local school district and is a board member with a local sports club.

Before Topix, Steve was a development director at Electronic Arts, delivering Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 simultaneously on multiple gaming platforms. At Netscape/AOL he worked on the Netscape website, Netscape browser, and as technical director for AOL Shopping. At Apple, he developed a cross-platform printing engine for FileMaker Pro. It was around this time that he invested in a small restaurant in Yountville called the French Laundry.

Steve began his career at a small startup that later sold the marketing rights for its product to IBM. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University.

Mike Sawka, VP Engineering

As the head of engineering, product management, and operations, Mike has overseen Topix's transition from a traditional news and forum site to an analytics-driven audience platform. He spearheaded Topix's Big-Data initiative to integrate website metric data with ad buying and revenue data to create centralized business intelligence reports. He also led the migration of all of Topix's legacy infrastructure of owned hardware to the cloud.

As architect at Topix, he is responsible for all of the backend technology, using a NoSQL model to achieve minimal downtime. He has experience working at every level of the technology stack, from HTML/CSS/JS to Apache/Perl to low-level systems and operations tasks. In addition, he has years of experience with all aspects of publisher ad serving, including implementing and evaluating ad networks.

Prior to Topix, Mike was architect at Spoke Software, the first VC-funded social network, and a key early hire. Mike was a a developer at Siebel before joining Spoke, and previously interned at Microsoft and Intuit. He holds a BS with honors and distinction in computer science from Stanford University where he received the Terman Engineering Award.

Sara Davis, Director of Marketing

Sara leads the team that connects Topix.com with an audience of millions. After a stint as a Topix community manager, she became head of social media and marketing, where she forged our winning strategy for traffic acquisition and audience development.

Prior to landing at Topix, she served as a marketing consultant for companies, including Pixoria, Menuette, MouseLabs, Hubbard One, and Black Dog Design. She is an authority on social media and organic audience growth.

Sara is also an award-winning actress and singer, and holds a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University. Her creative side fuels everything she does, from her dramatic work to her artfully honed social media posts and content promotion.

Mary Noble, Editor-in-Chief

Mary received her PhD from Princeton in 2010, then left the professoriate to write for a much larger audience at Topix - an audience of 18 million, in fact. She built the Topix writing team from the ground up, and fosters the team's culture of creative fun. When social media became the major distribution platform, Mary met this paradigm shift with data. She developed an A/B testing program and a data-driven editorial workflow to provide real-time feedback to writers. She is also versed in the dark art of creating addictive content that people can't stop reading.

Before Topix, Mary taught literature and politics at Princeton, Oxford, and Drew University. Her postgraduate work in the digital humanities involved using large datasets to understand literature, which informs her data-intensive approach to content creation at Topix. She has a BA Hons from Cambridge, and her writing has been published at the Huffington Post, Fusion, and Bustle.

Daniel Swartz, Director of Product

Daniel is director of product at Topix with a deep background in UX and visual design. He spearheaded A/B testing in both user experience and visual design, leading to better monetization and user retention.

Prior to Topix, Daniel was director of product and design at Blekko, holding a leading role in the development and evolution of its various search products until its acquisition by IBM five years later. Before that he was lead UX and visual designer at MerchantCircle, an online marketing and lead-generation tool for millions of small businesses. While living and working in Germany, he consulted for SapientNitro, working on a variety of projects for banks, airlines and other high-profile companies throughout Europe. Daniel holds BA and BM degrees in history and music from UC Santa Barbara.

Jonathan Ward, Director of Community

Since joining Topix in 2010, Jonathan has driven customer support and community development across all verticals and social media platforms. In his two decades in Silicon Valley, Jonathan has worked for such notable startups as Winamp.com and Nullsoft, where he provided editorial and content management. At Grouper he directed the product and content creation teams before the company was acquired by Sony and rebranded Crackle.

He took a brief detour into the food service industry, co-founding one of San Francisco's earliest gourmet food-truck companies, Kung Fu Tacos, before finding his way to Topix. He attributes his current level of success to having done some seriously questionable things in past lives.

Come work with us

Featured Positions

Interested in joining the Topix team? Please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the position name as the subject line.

Account Manager - Programmatic Direct Sales

We're looking for a strong sales performer who can drive private marketplace sales to augment our burgeoning programmatic offerings for our premium, high engagement content on Topix. Reporting to our COO and working with Ad Ops, marketing and yield management, you'll be spearheading development and growth of an important new business for Topix.


  • Prosecuting new private marketplace deals, and managing ongoing revenue through those channels.
  • Build, maintain and effectively manage relationships with Agencies, Trading Desks, DSPs, networks, and all demand sources. Uncover their needs, and ensure we meet their KPI's to help ensure long term satisfaction and ongoing and increasing spend.
  • Identify and help create the PMP packages that will be most effective to be marketed to buyers
  • Work closely with partners to build the business and proactively identify opportunities to grow and extend our existing business.
  • Partner with engineering and AdOps to successfully deploy new Private Placements and maximize renewals and throughput.
  • Understand profitability and margins of deployments to ensure additive incremental margin with all Private Placements.


  • Strong understanding of digital advertising, and specific players and platforms in the programmatic landscape
  • Established connections & digital agency relationships. You should be able to name names at multiple agencies and walk through how you sold them on PMP's
  • Demonstrable success in selling private marketplace deals with multiple brands, ideally for a publisher (ideally, currently working at an agency or publisher)
  • Strong quantitative & analytical skills. Spreadsheets are a lifestyle choice for you
  • Experience with DFP and an understanding of how trafficking and ad delivery works
  • Flexibility to travel to the ad industry hot spots
  • You're sharp. Be the kind of person who notices opportunities or threats proactively and can grab the company by the hoodie to do the right thing
  • Be Fun to work with

Working at Topix offers you:

  • Highly competitive, market driven salary and bonus structure
  • A fun and focused group of co-workers that are all aligned to help you achieve the goals
  • Exceptional Medical and Dental insurance plans along with a generous vacation policy and 401k
  • The web traffic, viewability and brand safety of our content and web sites necessary to succeed

Marketing Manager, Social/Paid Content

We're looking for a creative, self-starting marketing professional to help drive traffic to our fast-growing new verticals focused on pop culture (offbeat.topix.com and stars.topix.com).


  • Create ad copy and social media posts for some of the funniest, most addictive content on the web
  • Manage a very large volume of Facebook advertising campaigns
  • Develop and maintain advertising campaigns with partners like Taboola, Outbrain, etc
  • Oversee our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram


  • At least one years' experience managing paid Facebook advertising campaigns for content, including knowledge of targeting, testing custom audiences as well as lookalike audiences
  • A love of statistics - you love digging into data to find out what is working and why
  • Knowledge of pop culture and the social web
  • Experience writing on entertainment or humor is a plus
  • Meticulous editing and self-editing skills
  • Must be detail-oriented so that you can produce perfect work at high speed under pressure
  • Comfortable multi-tasking in a fast paced, start-up team environment
  • Excellent collaboration, problem solving and communication skills; ability to work cross-functionally
  • Sense of humor and strong work ethic

Perks of the job:

  • Work with experienced, kickass writers, editors, and engineers
  • Space to grow professionally in a small company with awesome co-workers
  • Access to a fabulously-stocked kitchen and snack room
  • Excellent benefits

Staff Writer - Pop Culture

Come join our fun, creative Topix editorial team! We're looking for a writer to make lists and quizzes for our pop culture verticals, which now receive over one billion pageviews per month:

  • offbeat.topix.com
  • stars.topix.com
  • parenthood.topix.com
  • pawsome.topix.com
  • blackbeat.topix.com

You are:

  • hilarious
  • empathetic
  • good at grammar and spelling
  • immersed in millennial idiom, social media, and pop culture trends

Telecommuting is absolutely fine if you live outside of the Bay Area. Our entire writing team is remote and we sync up via Slack and video conferencing.

The position is part-time and freelance to start with, and could lead to a full-time role for the right person.


  • 2+ years' experience of writing online for a substantial audience (please send 2+ links to online writing samples in your cover letter)
  • Some experience of making slideshows, listicles, or quizzes focused on entertainment, celebrities, internet culture, parenting, or pets
  • A way with words, so that your sentences make people laugh or feel emotionally engaged
  • Meticulous writing, editing and self-editing skills
  • Experience with Photoshop or other image editing software
  • A strong visual sense
  • Ability to source and edit images quickly and flawlessly
  • Must be detail-oriented and fast so that you can produce perfect writing at high speed
  • Knowledge of the social web

Perks of the job

  • You get to work with kickass writers and editors. Our writers have been published in Gawker, Jezebel, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, MTV.com, among other places.
  • A chance to write for a large audience
  • Excellent health and other benefits for full-time employees
  • You'll have access to a fabulously-stocked kitchen and snack room (if you work in the office)
  • You get to work from home (if you're remote)