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Zach Stafford

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Zach Stafford
Tennessee, United States
Alma materDePaul University
Era21st century
EmployerThe Advocate
Organization(s)Pride Media, Inc.

Zach Stafford is a journalist and the former editor-in-chief of The Advocate magazine.[1] He is currently a columnist at MSNBC.[2] Stafford won a Tony Award in 2022 as one of the co-producers of A Strange Loop.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Stafford was born in Tennessee. He attended DePaul University and studied women's and gender studies.[4]


Stafford got his start as a reporter for The Guardian, reporting on police brutality and LGBTQ issues. He was editor-at-large for Out magazine before being hired as the Chief Content Officer of Grindr. In that role, he also served as the editor-in-chief of the app's digital magazine, Into.[5] Stafford is the first black person to serve as the editor-in-chief of The Advocate, the oldest and largest LGBTQ publication in the United States.[6] "I have long respected The Advocate and the role the magazine played in the LGBTQ community, which started with their reporting on police brutality in the late 1960s, a topic I'm intimately familiar with from my own work", Stafford told NBC News. "I am incredibly excited to lead The Advocate in reporting and storytelling on LGBTQ life around the world, even if it means ruffling a few feathers along the way."[1]

Stafford co-hosted the LGBTQ Presidential Forum in the 2020 Democratic Primary. The event was hosted by The Advocate, GLAAD, and the Cedar Rapids Gazette. At the event, Vox reported that New Jersey senator Cory Booker "entered the stage and immediately gave the Advocate editor-in-chief Zach Stafford a bearhug, lifting the journalist off his feet."

In May 2019, Stafford was announced as the new co-host of BuzzFeed News's morning show, AM to DM. Stafford and Alex Berg replaced Isaac Fitzgerald and Saeed Jones, who had been with the show since it launched in 2017.[7] The show covers trending tweets, the biggest news stories of the day, and interviews with celebrity guests and experts.[8]

In June 2020, Stafford was the inaugural editor-at-large for the relaunch of Buzzfeed's LGBTQ vertical[9] and hosted their podcast, News O'Clock, a daily news podcast from Buzzfeed and IHeartRadio.[10]

Since April 2021, he has been a columnist at MSNBC and has also appeared as contributor on their television network.[2]

In August 2022, Stafford launched a podcast with Sirius XM's Stitcher called Vibe Check, focusing on "news and culture from a Black and queer perspective." The podcast is co-hosted by Stafford, Sam Sanders, and Saeed Jones.[11]

Awards and honors[edit]

Stafford has been recognized on The Root 100 and Forbes 30 Under 30.[12][13] The Advocate won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage in 2020 under his tenure.[14]

In 2022, Stafford won a Tony Award for co-producing A Strange Loop when the show won for Best Musical.[15][3]


Boys, an Anthology (2013), Thought Catalog; ISBN 978-1629213712[16]

Greetings From New Nashville: How a Sleepy Southern Town Became “It” City (2020), Vanderbilt Press; ISBN 978-0826500274 [17]

When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them (2021), Lerner Publishing; ISBN 978-1541586734

Personal life[edit]

He is gay.[18]


  1. ^ a b "The Advocate names first black editor-in-chief in its 50-year history". NBC News. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "MSNBC Author Zach Stafford". MSNBC.com. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Jacobs, Julia (June 13, 2022). "Jennifer Hudson becomes an EGOT as a co-producer of the winning musical, 'A Strange Loop.'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  4. ^ "Zach: Chicago's Gay Life Author". the chic. September 14, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Zach Stafford, Formerly of Grindr, Now The Advocate's First Black EIC". www.advocate.com. December 20, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "'The Advocate' Names Zach Stafford EIC". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "Buzzfeed News' 'AM To DM' Taps Alex Berg & Zach Stafford As New Hosts". ca.sports.yahoo.com. May 7, 2019. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (May 7, 2019). "Buzzfeed News' 'AM To DM' Taps Alex Berg & Zach Stafford As New Hosts". Deadline. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "'BuzzFeed' Relaunches LGBTQ Vertical". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  10. ^ "News O'Clock on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Chan, J. Clara (August 3, 2022). "Sam Sanders, Saeed Jones and Zach Stafford to Host Culture Podcast on Stitcher". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  12. ^ "Zach Stafford". The Root. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "Zach Stafford". Forbes. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  14. ^ "UPDATING: Award Recipients at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD. July 30, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "'A Strange Loop,' Stunning Broadway Musical, Gets Historic Tony Noms". www.out.com. May 9, 2022. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  16. ^ Boys : an anthology. Stafford, Zach,, Lang, Nico. Brooklyn. December 5, 2013. ISBN 978-1-62921-371-2. OCLC 878564424.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ "A New Collection of Essays Charts Nashville's Shifting Perception of Self". Nashville Scene. March 12, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  18. ^ @ZachStafford (February 21, 2019). "Let me say this as a black, gay ex-Chicago resident (not reporter):A few years ago my neighbors spewed racist and…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.