Media

John Cook Leaving (Maw of) Yahoo News, Returning to Gawker

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Andrew Golis of Yahoo just posted a job opening noting that John Cook is going back to Gawker! Doesn’t this sound familiar?

“Sadly, John Cook is heading back to Gawker. John’s a brilliant reporter, but he decided that he prefers the license Gawker gave him to add his opinions into his reporting to the scale and credibility Yahoo! News could offer.

Recently, Peter Goodman left the New York Times for the Huffington Post, noting that…

“The central focus of our mission should be ferreting out truth, chronicling the lives of ordinary people, and delivering clarity to the readership, while not merely settling for access to powerful corridors.”

This is something you’re going to see more often: reporters ditching news organizations whose editing red tape can’t be cut through in order to filter filler copy and bullshit out of the truth of a story, which some standards (like the Times and apparently Yahoo) would file under opinion, or even worse, simply wouldn’t know where to file, period. Who would’ve thought that the guy who’d rescue John Cook from the “maw of Yahoo” would be Nick Denton himself? This is obviously a huge loss for Yahoo, and a massive gain for Gawker, who’s been looking to hire a senior editor and reporter position for a few months without much luck. Cook’s skills have been missed at Gawker Media’s flagship site, which is going to start looking much more shapely with them. This isn’t the first return Gawker’s had: Richard Lawson came back to the site after leaving for a stint with TV Guide. A recent New York Observer piece on the rising class of TV re-cappers (of which Lawson is knee-deep in) noted:

Mr. Lawson had a taste of this. He left Gawker in 2009 for a new job at TV.com, a more mainstream Web site owned by CBS, before returning to Gawker after five months.

“I did these depressing phone interviews with TV actors and I was one of twenty they were doing in an hour,” Mr. Lawson said. “But that’s good; I mean you would have to cut your teeth there to become the next Virginia Heffernan or whatever.”

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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