According to the one-man investigative team known as Brian Stelter — formerly known as the guy behind the blog TVNewser, who beat the pants off most of the media reporters at the major dailies while he was still in school — the new editor of Gawker is none other than the founder of Gawker Media, the secretive and unpredictable Nick Denton himself. Stelter says he has it confirmed through several sources.
I wrote about Gawker recently, after the site’s top writers left — including Choire Sicha and Emily Gould. Both said they were tired of the incessant snarking at Gawker, which likes to take shots at the rich and/or powerful (and in some cases whoever happens to wander into the crosshairs). And even Denton himself has said that he wants Gawker to break more news, rather than just sniping from the sidelines.
Something similar happened at Valleywag.com. Although the site was popular, it wasn’t a crucial read. Then Denton got rid of young Nick Douglas and took the reins himself as editor, until he lucked out and hired former Business 2.0 writer Owen Thomas. The new team have plenty of snark to throw around, but they also get scoops, and that’s the real secret (although in some cases they turn out to be less than, well… true).
Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 says Nick is one of those trying to create a different form of journalism. But the big question is the one posed by a commenter on the Valleywag post: Will Nick pay himself based on page views, as he recently started doing for his writers? According to several reports, that’s another reason that Sicha and Gould left.