Neon Tommy

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Neon Tommy
Type Online news website
Owner(s) Annenberg Digital News
Publisher University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Editor Will Federman
Founded Spring 2009
Language English
Headquarters University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Circulation Undisclosed

Neon Tommy is the online news publication sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.


Neon Tommy is a web-only student publication. The website is considered a Los Angeles-based news source, focusing on Los Angeles and California, but also covering national and international stories.

The website offers students at the schools a platform through which to learn journalism.[1]

The website is regularly linked to by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, LAist, The Huffington Post, Romenesko, Gawker, Yahoo!, CNN,[2] SB Nation and more.


The website launched in spring 2009 and received a redesign during summer 2010. The website receives nearly 4 million visitors annually, from more than 120 countries. The publication has produced notable alumni who have gone on to launch successful careers at The Los Angeles Times, The Voice of San Diego, The Atlantic, Yahoo News, and Time Inc.

In 2015, Neon Tommy moved its production offices from the West Wing of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism into the Julie Chen/Les Moonves & CBS Media Center[3] inside Wallis Annenberg Hall. It now shares the space with the school's other student media operations, Annenberg TV News and Annenberg Radio News. The publication's principal founder, Marc Cooper, also announced his retirement at the end of the 2014–2015 academic calendar year,[4] marking the end of a successful six-year run as the organization's faculty director.


  • Won an L.A. Press Club award in 2010 for its reporting of the local swine flu crisis.[5]
  • Won two L.A. Press Club awards in 2011 and received two honorable mentions as well.[6]
  • Won 10 L.A. Press Club awards in 2012, including for best sports photo and best online feature.[7]
  • Was recognized by the Online News Association for its coverage of a shooting on campus in April 2012 that left two graduate students dead.[8] The National Entertainment Journalism Awards included several Neon Tommy articles among its finalists, including for best online critic.[9]
  • Won three L.A. Press Club awards in 2013 for feature writing and sports news, along with six honorable mentions.[10]
  • Nominated for two National Arts & Entertainment awards in 2014, for feature writing and industry news.
  • Won two L.A. Press Club awards in 2014 for investigative reporting and online news reporting, and two honorable mentions.[11]
  • Won SPJ Mark of Excellence Award in 2015 for best online commentary, and was a finalist for best sports reporting.


Unlike the Daily Trojan, USC's student newspaper, Neon Tommy does not report on events on campus.

It is operated, edited and managed by undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines.[12]


A team of editors coordinates a staff of volunteers, who range from regular reporters to occasional contributors. 2014–2015 Editorial Staff:

  • Will Federman, Editor-in-Chief
  • Kathy Zerbib, Senior Entertainment Editor
  • Gigi Gastevich, Senior Arts Editor
  • Jeremy Bergman, Senior Sports Editor
  • Paolo Uggetti, Associate Sports Editor
  • Jacob Freedman, Sports Editor-at-Large
  • Max Meyer, Sports Editor-at-Large
  • Francesca Bessey, Senior Opinion Editor
  • Alex Gold, Social Media Director


External links[edit]