New voice on the environmental left

Published July 1, 2000

A potentially powerful news organization has been launched to spread the message of the left-wing environmental movement.

Verde Media has been established, according to founder and chairman, Peek Garlington III, to be “. . . the largest team assembled to cover green lifestyles and environmental issues.”

In a wide-ranging phone interview with Environment & Climate News, Garlington and Verde’s director of content architecture, John Zilber, explained that input and direction for news coverage will come from such organizations as Earth First!, Earth Island Institute, Defenders of Wildlife, National Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Verde plans to be an integrated news service, providing Internet stories as well as radio, television, and print.

Verde has $25 million in start-up money and is being financed by Lehman Venture Capital and Gryphon Ventures. Garlington is a consultant at Lehman Global Finance, Inc. Individuals financing the media company include Ted Turner and Jane Fonda (Garlington is also a member of the Turner Foundation’s finance committee); Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records; and Doug Morris, CEO of Morris Holdings.

Garlington and Zilber zealously explained that their goal is to alter American lifestyles and change the way we relate to the environment and the Earth. To accomplish that mission, they have put together an experienced staff with impressive credentials.

Kelly Rickenbaker, Verde’s vice president of programming, was general manager for and handled the start-up of CNN’s Newsstand Production Group. He was also senior producer of CNN’s environment unit and oversaw the weekly programs “Network Earth” on Ted Turner’s TBS network and “Earth Matters” on CNN.

Zilber has served as editor-in-chief of various technology publications for Ziff-Davis and Image Publishing.

Others on the staff include Managing Editor John McManus, formerly CNN’s San Francisco bureau assignment manager. Executive Producer Tracy Shea comes to Verde from CNN. Executive Editor Tim Neagle was executive news editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. Editor Michael Mechanic wrote for the Los Angeles Times and Mother Jones Wire.

For more information

Visit the Verde Internet site at