Bill Momary was working in the advertising department at a major metropolitan newspaper in Southern California when he realized a problem inside the industry.
“Producing quality content is expensive,” said Momary, who worked in the ad department at the Los Angeles Times before serving as vice president of advertising at E.W. Scripps for the Ventura County Star newspaper in Ventura, California.
“So I thought – what if we could create a content exchange that’s an easy way for buyers and sellers to communicate?” he continued. “Namely a publisher to work with freelancers globally who had already been vetted, who are high quality reporters and/or content producers, videographers, photographers…people we can connect in one environment.”
With that, Ebyline was born.
“Ebyline is a content company,” Momary explained of the endeavor launched in 2009. “What we do is connect publishers in any industry with a data base of vetted freelancers globally who are quality professionals in their respective fields.”
Ebyline’s online workflow tools allow this connectivity to happen quickly and easily, he said.
“It’s turn-key; that’s the whole point of Ebyline,” Momary said. “For instance, if a publisher needed someone to write about a particular subject, they can go into this environment, look at the profiles of these individuals who have been vetted and reviewed, and hire them on the spot.”
Ebyline takes care of everything else, from the asset transfer back and forth, payments to the freelancer, and 1099s.
“Our system takes care of all the management of the details in between.”
Small business background
Growing up in Valencia, Momary came from a small business background with a family that owned restaurants in the community for many years.
“I was running a couple divisions for the L.A. Times and concurrently had a restaurant in Santa Clarita,” remembered Momary, who launched and ran one of the restaurants that his father had dissolved.
“I was making sales during the day while figuring out how to run the restaurant,” continued Momary, adding that he earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. “I’m not a journalist but I studied journalism in college; therefore I understood the craft enough to respect it and acknowledge its importance.”
While working at the L.A. Times, he met Allen Narcisse, who led the online video content strategy for Latimes.com and served as the Director of Operations at Hoy, the Spanish Language Newspaper published by the L.A. Times.
“There were complaints that quality content wasn’t there anymore,” Momary said. “We woke up one day wanting to help the problem. We knew there was a way for us to sustain the quality content by helping companies do it more abundantly, and do it in a way that’s sophisticated.”
From there, Momary and Narcisse brainstormed Ebyline.
“Today we have over 2,000 publishers and over 3,000 journalists using the system,” Momary said.
Journalistic standards for producing content
Based in Los Angeles, Ebyline is a global platform that connects companies with experienced, vetted freelancers to create exclusive high-quality content for publishers and brands.
“Only the best journalists, writers, photographers and video producers are Ebyline approved,” Momary emphasized. “With a nationwide network of experts, we make it easy to find the right freelancer for your job and budget.”
The platform is designed to help manage content creation, from start to finish, with multiple projects.
“For instance, if a publisher needs a reporter to cover the NBA finals, they go into the database and search for the expertise they are looking for,” Momary explained. “If needed, our in-house experts are available to provide editorial support for any genre of content.”
Veterans of the news industry
The Ebyline team consists of co-founder Allen Narcisse, who previously served as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Paramount Pictures.
Peter Beller, director of content, covered business and investing for Forbes from Los Angeles and has written for The New York Times, Marketwatch and other publications.
Matt Gray, account manager, was an account executive and in-house video producer at the Ventura County Star, and has also worked at Paramount and CBS Domestic Television. Kaitlynn Russo, Marketing Automation Manager, worked for two of LA's top advertising agencies strategizing and analyzing digital campaigns for brands like Energizer and PlayStation.
Hannah Brown, Ebyline’s office manager who previously worked in the hospitality industry, most recently worked for LQ Management LLC, specializing in operations and accounting.
Ranjiv Perera, lead support for Ebyline, worked at the Los Angeles Times handling website ad trafficking, as well as a number of Tribune news properties.
Justin Lundy, Q&A Engineer, worked at a web services start-up as well as gaming giant Activision, implementing test plans and automation to the development cycle.
In its first year, Ebyline exceeded revenue projections by 16%, and in 2011, the company grew by 100 percent year-over-year.
“I see even better years ahead,” Momary said. “The future is not only bright – it’s exciting.”
For more information visit Ebyline.com