About The Nerdy Bird

Jill Pantozzi is a pop culture journalist and host who is first and foremost a nerd. She was a nerd before she even knew what that meant. And then she did know what it meant and pretended not to be one, like so many others. But in January of 2008 she threw caution to the wind, dubbed herself “The Nerdy Bird” and launched her blog, “Has Boobs, Reads Comics.”

Before her blogging started, Jill spent her younger days striving to be a news anchor. Diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at two and a half, Jill has held the title of Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association since she was seven and appeared for over twenty years on the New York broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

It was through the MDA Telethon that Jill found her love for on-air hosting, learned about what went on behind the scenes (as well as in front), and went on to pursue journalism in college. After graduation, Jill was “on-air,” just not in the form she previously expected. Thanks to her work on the MDA Telethon, she was recruited as a Radio DJ at 94.3 The Point in New Jersey. She produced their morning show and remained their night DJ for five and a half years. She continued to do on-camera hosting, acting, and voiceovers for commercial projects as well.

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After launching TheNerdyBird.com to get back into writing, Jill started picking up freelance work at MTV, Comic Book Resources, and others writing and speaking about pop culture. She eventually took up entertainment journalism full time also writing for The Hollywood Reporter, MTV News, Publishers Weekly, IGN, HitFix/Uproxx, Blastr (SyfyWire), Playboy, Topless Robot, Heartless Doll, and Newsarama, as well as serving as a video host or guest for several of them.

In 2011, Jill took a paid internship position at geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network) and eventually made her way up to Editor in Chief. She’s also been featured in entertainment news segments on CNN, PBSMSNBC, and HLN as an expert in her field. In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s “Comic Store Heroes,” a documentary on the lives of comic book fans. The following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, “Legends of the Knight.”

In November of 2017, Jill joined io9 as its Managing Editor and was promoted to Deputy Editor in July 2018. There she shaped the site’s distinctive pop culture coverage, managed video production for several series, and organized and participated in convention coverage until she stepped down in 2021.

Throughout the years, Jill has maintained a sizeable online following not just because she’s a fan but as a critic with a strong voice as well, always speaking up to make the entertainment industry a more inclusive place. She’s a prominent member of the geek community, regularly engaging with her fans, moderating panels at conventions, and cosplaying but she has always stayed true to the young nerd she once was.

You can keep up with Jill (and her cats) at her many online haunts.

Photo by Savannah Lauren

OFFICIAL BIO (short)

Jill Pantozzi is a digital media writer, host, strategist, and consultant with over 15 years of experience. The creator of TheNerdyBird.com, her work has appeared in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Publisher’s Weekly, MTV News, IGN, Hitfix/Uproxx, tor.com, Blastr (Syfy Wire), and more. Jill has led the newsrooms of io9 at Gizmodo and The Mary Sue and is passionate about cultivating inclusive communities. You can keep up with Jill (and her cats) at her many online haunts.

OFFICIAL BIO (long)

Being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy as a toddler changed my life in more ways than one. The Muscular Dystrophy Association asking me to serve as a Goodwill Ambassador saw me open the live New York broadcast of the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon at just 7 years old, sparking a fascination in communications that would eventually pave the way for my career.

Each year I learned more and more about all aspects of live TV, news, production, and hosting (my favorite). MDA allowed me to interview guests, do remote tapings at its summer camp, and share the latest research news from the anchor’s chair. I was fortunate that my high school offered a 4-year program—C.A.S.T., or Communications, Arts, and Science Training— to absorb even more about my chosen industry. Speaking with another Telethon host the year I graduated from Ramapo College led to an offer of a DJ position at 94.3 FM (“The Point”​). I completed a successful five-and-a-half-year stretch there as both an on-air personality and producer of the Lou & Liz morning show. 

However, I missed writing and in January of 2008 I created TheNerdyBird.com to blog about all things “nerdy.” I shared the latest news, reviewed films, cosplayed, and reported on conventions and public events until my work was noticed by established websites at the time and I started freelancing. Since then my writing has appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, MTV News, Publishers Weekly, IGN, HitFix/Uproxx, Blastr (SyfyWire), Playboy, and more. 

In 2011, I was hired at the fledgling geek girl culture site The Mary Sue and eventually made my way up to Editor in Chief. I fostered a safe and welcoming community while also making plenty of waves in the entertainment industry. During my tenure, I also shepherded the site and its community through a merger with our sister blog Geekosystem. In November of 2017, I joined io9 at Gizmodo as its Managing Editor and was promoted to Deputy Editor in July 2018. I shaped the site’s distinctive pop culture coverage, managed video production for several series, and organized and participated in convention coverage. I am proud to say we spoke truth to power more times than I can count and highlighted the need for diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the entertainment industry.

Other notable events of my career include being written about in major institutions such as the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, the NY Daily News, Variety, NY Post, The Telegraph, and more. I’ve been interviewed for the web/print by the NY Daily News, MSNBC, G4 Interactive, and Elle Magazine and featured in news segments on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, and HLN as an expert in my field. 

Outside of journalism, I wrote three children’s books based on Marvel Cinematic Universe stories: “IncrediBuilds: Marvel: Infinity Gauntlet,” “IncrediBuilds: Ant-Man and the Wasp,” and “IncrediBuilds: Black Panther. I contributed to two books of essays: “Chicks Read Comics” and “Hey Kids, Comics!” I also wrote a comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology,” with art by Hanie Mohd and a one-page webcomic story, with art by Amy Mebberson, celebrating women in the industry for The Gutters. I was featured on National Geographic’s “Comic Store Heroes,” a documentary on the lives of comic book fans, and was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, “Legends of the Knight.”

You can keep up with Jill (and her cats) at her many online haunts.