Marshall alumnus and family man Griffin McElroy may have had a sleepless night thanks to his newborn son, but that didn’t stop him from quietly celebrating as one of Forbe’s 2017 “30 Under 30” in media with his family this morning.
“I’ve always joked about making it on the ‘30 Under 30’ list, but I never actually thought it would happen,” McElroy said, noting his early start in online media with roles at AOL and MTV during his undergraduate time at Marshall. “I feel ecstatic and so grateful.”
The 29-year-old graduated from Marshall in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism and has been on the go since.
As founding co-editor of Polygon, a video game website under Vox, the Texas resident oversees video content, including several weekly series like Monster Factory, which boasts more than 2.5 million views on YouTube. McElroy’s ventures in new media extend to My Brother, My Brother and Me, a podcast in which he plays himself—the baby McElroy brother under Justin and Travis. McElroy produces and co-hosts the podcast, which had more than 3.5 million streams in November and is currently being developed as a television show on the streaming platform Seeso.
“All these projects have been successful because I got to work on them with people I love, which I’m so lucky to say,” McElroy said. “My favorite part of my role both at Polygon and with the podcasts is that I get to do all of it with my family.”
In part, McElroy said he credits the professors and hands-on opportunities at Marshall—producing newscasts at WMUL-FM, reporting for The Parthenon, and filming for MU Report—for preparing him for his success. “I’m really, really proud to be a Marshall alumnus because it was the place where I absolutely got started on this path.”
As for tips to pursue emerging forms of media, McElroy said he would stress that everyone is a pioneer. “The things people are doing that they’re finding success in are things that nobody is an expert in, by virtue of the fact that they’re new forms of media,” he said. “Try everything, work hard and be kind.”
For more information about the Forbes “30 Under 30” Media list, visit forbes.com/30-under-30-2017/media.