Rainey Knudson, the founder of Glasstire, announced today that she will be stepping down as publisher in mid-to-late 2019. She will remain in her post as the company launches a search for a new publisher and during the transition period, and will remain on the board of directors thereafter.
During her 18 years at the helm of Glasstire, Knudson has shaped the media outlet into an important resource and connective tissue for the disparate cities that make up the statewide Texas art scene. She bought the glasstire.com domain for $35 in the summer of 2000, naming the magazine as an homage to an artwork by Robert Rauschenberg and intending from the beginning that it would be online-only. She built the original site, which officially launched in January of 2001.
During the early years, Knudson was Glasstire’s sole employee, serving as editor, publisher, salesperson, and administrator. Today, Glasstire has an annual budget of half a million dollars, and a staff of seven. Its archive of over 36,000 articles and events chronicle almost two decades of the Texas visual art scene. Christina Rees, the current Editor-in-Chief, joined Glasstire full-time in 2014, and News Editor Brandon Zech has been with the publication since 2015.
Throughout its history Glasstire has published articles by more than 400 writers, many of whom are artists themselves. The publication has built up a a worldwide readership, with hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of social media impressions annually. In addition to being the largest employer of arts writers in Texas, Glasstire is a pioneer of creating video-based arts journalism, including its popular weekly Top Five videos and its podcasts.
Ms. Knudson commented on why she has decided to step down from the publication:
“After 18 years, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter. It’s hard to overstate what Glasstire has meant to me, but the time is right to hand over the reins to a new leader. I will never be able to adequately thank everyone who has supported Glasstire over the years: patrons, funders, board members, advertisers, partners, and most of all, employees and writers. I feel lucky to have been there at the beginning of Internet journalism. It has been a joy to travel throughout Texas through the years, working with gifted writers who tell the stories of the people in our statewide art scene. Our tagline is ‘Go See Some Art.’ It sounds simple, but it’s a simple idea that I believe in.”
“I look forward to working with the board in the coming months as we transition to new leadership for Glasstire. After that, I don’t know what the next chapter holds for me, but it will involve the things I love: Texas, art, and innovative projects.”
Glasstire board of directors president, Leslie Hull, said of Knudson’s decision to step down:
“Rainey’s departure creates an extraordinary opportunity for the next generation of media entrepreneurs: people who love art, and who are energized by the challenges and rewards of online journalism. Today Glasstire is in a stronger position than it ever has been — financially, programmatically, and in terms of our amazing team of editors, writers, and artists. We are energized by the projects we have in place for 2019, including an Off Road conversation with the artist Vincent Valdez, and the introduction of our first bilingual content. The board, and Rainey, are committed to ensuring that Glasstire moves smoothly on to a new phase of leadership, and that independent arts journalism in Texas continues to thrive.”
Glasstire is beginning a national search to fill Knudson’s role as Publisher. For more information, please email [email protected].