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Jeff Koyen At Assignment Discovery

Jeff Koyen is an American journalist, editor and entrepreneur. According to The New York Times, "The face of web tech today could easily be a designer, like Brian Chesky at Airbnb, or a magazine editor, like Jeff Koyen at Assignmint."[1]

Koyen was born in 1969 and raised in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey and currently lives in Brooklyn. While living in Venice Beach, CA, he founded the software startup Assignmint. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.[2] He has worked as a freelance travel and culture writer, filing with Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, New York magazine, Radar, New York Post, New York Press, Penthouse, Wired.com, The Prague Pill, and others.

In 2017, Koyen was honored by the "Society of Professional Journalists"' Deadline Club and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for his investigation into New York CIty's black market for food cart permits,[3][4] which was published by Crain's New York Business.[5]


From 1994 to 2000, Koyen was the editor of the zineCrank,.[6][7] It was the first zine to be published simultaneously in print and online, first in 1994 via FTP, then at Crank.com starting in 1995.[8][9]

Starting in 1998, he was a contributing writer and production manager at New York Press until he moved to Prague in 2002, where he was hired as associate editor at the expatriate paper, The Prague Pill. There, he met and formed a close working relationship with Alexander Zaitchik. In February 2003, Koyen was hired as editor-in-chief of New York Press by new owners.[10] Zaitchik left Prague to join him on the New York Press masthead.

Between 2007 and 2010, he worked as the deputy editor at both Forbes Traveler and Travel + Leisure, while also freelancing for the New York Times, New York magazine and other publications.

In April 2012, Koyen founded the software startup Assignmint.[11]

In 2015, he founded the sleep-focused website Van Winkle's on behalf of Casper Sleep, the mattress startup.[12] In 2016, he launched Pressland, an open-sourced directory of media outlets and editors.[13] He also founded the writing project 100 Words in 2001.


In March 2005, while serving as the editor-in-chief of the New York Press, Koyen ran a cover story by Matt Taibbi entitled "52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope". The article was widely condemned by SenatorsHillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, New York MayorMichael Bloomberg, Matt Drudge, and Abe Foxman, among others, including now-disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner who suggested that New Yorkers take copies of that issue out of their news boxes and destroy them.[14]

The publisher responded to the attacks by demanding that Koyen publicly apologize for the article. Koyen instead chose to resign his position. He went on to defend the story, attacking owner David Unger and publisher Chris Rohland in the media,[15] saying "They couldn't handle the controversy... I didn't expect them to cave in and cower so easily. I'm really surprised they were so spineless."[16][17][18]

No apology was ever issued for Taibbi's article.[citation needed]


  1. ^Yiren Lu (March 12, 2014). "Silicon Valley's Youth Problem". The New York Times. 
  2. ^Green, Peter S. " A Prague Perspective for a New York Newsroom", The New York Times, February 26, 2003. Accessed December 24, 2007.
  3. ^Smerd, Jeremy " Crain's wins prestigious journalism award and is recognized for coverage of Donald Trump", Crain Communications, March 17, 2017
  4. ^Roush, Chris " Money, Crain’s New York among Deadline Club award winners", Talking Biz News, May 23, 2017
  5. ^Koyen, Jeff " Inside the underground economy propping up New York City's food carts", Crain Communications, June 12, 2016
  6. ^"Crank Magazine". Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  7. ^Jeff Koyen, Crank, zinebook
  8. ^Alt.zines Retrieved Alt.Zines 1994"
  9. ^Wayback Machine Crank.com Retrieved"
  10. ^Peter S. Green (February 26, 2003). "A Prague Perspective for a New York Newsroom". The New York Times. 
  11. ^Nick Bilton (May 14, 2013). "Start-Up Hopes to Help Freelance Writers Get Paid". The New York Times. 
  12. ^Marshall, Jack " Mattress Company Casper Launches Sleep-Focused Publication ‘Van Winkle’s’"
  13. ^Claire Atkinson " Meet the new ‘Yelp-like’ app for freelance writers"
  14. ^LAWRENCE VAN GELDER (March 8, 2005). "New York Press Editor Quits Over Article". The New York Times. 
  15. ^The FixArchived 2009-04-16 at the Wayback Machine. (March 8, 2005). Salon.com. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  16. ^Kurtz, Howard (March 9, 2005). Who's the Next Dan?. Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  17. ^Haber (Mar 7, 2005). "Jeff Koyen's Exit Interview". gawker. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  18. ^"Take This Job and Shove It!". Fast Company. March 8, 2005. Retrieved April 14, 2009. 

I wrote a long story in NegCap #4 called “Dead to Me” wherein I explained how I take the expression almost literally. I had a list of people whose transgressions had caused their premature metaphorical deaths, as well as a few people that I have known who simply vanished, so they went missing and are presumed dead to me. Quite often when I am writing for the zine, I find myself working on something not because I want to see it published but because I want to see where it takes me mentally. This explains why I always go off on tangents and include as much detail as I can. This also explains why so many things that start out well never see the light of day—I decided to stop working on it because I didn’t like where the story was taking me.

The original intent of “Dead to Me” was as simple and straightforward as anything I had done: a desire to present my case for why some people that I know turned out to be huge assholes that I hate. Instead of wishing for them to die, I act like it’s already happened. On one level, it’s simple wish-fulfillment, and on another level, I finally feel like my side of the argument has now become part of the public record. As I was writing it, I was forced to sift through my feelings about all of these people and situations and I had to live through all the hurt and anguish all over again. Now that the story is finally done, it feels like it’s just that, a story. It’s absolutely true, but like all good stories, it shouldn’t end with a funeral because that’s a real downer.

I wrote this follow-up because I wanted to demonstrate my evolution as a person and also because I wanted to kick dirt on the graves of some of the dead. The title comes from my wife’s old boss, Chitra, who was born and raised in India. She really loved American culture but could never quite get the hang of some of our expressions. When discussing a financial matter that had been resolved, she would often say “We are beating the horse that has already died.” Even though what she says means the same thing, I think it’s much funnier her way.

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