What was that we were just saying about old guys leaving their cozy posts at newspapers and magazines to go work for the web?It looks like there’s another one: Phil Pruitt, the deputy managing editor of USA Today, who has left the paper to become the politics editor of Yahoo News, Danny Shea of The Huffington Post reports.
That’s right in line with the narrative of Yahoo poaching lots of all-star talent in order to bring more original content to the site.
But! Curveball: John Cook is leaving Yahoo News blog The Upshot to go back to work for Gawker, from which The Upshot poached him in April.
“John’s a brilliant reporter, but he decided that he prefers the licence Gawker gave him to add his opinions into his reporting to the scale and credibility Yahoo! News could offer,” Upshot editor Andrew Golis wrote on his personal blog this morning.
Cook, an investigative reporter with both long-form print and high-velocity web chops, is obviously a big loss for Yahoo.
Simultaneously nabbing a top editor from one of the nation’s largest newspapers does soften the blow, but Phil Pruitt isn’t exactly a big brand name. Granted, since he’s an editor, he doesn’t really need to be. But he will have to hire some people who are.
Given the calibre of talent Yahoo has been able to attract so far — don’t forget Yahoo just poached Newsweek star Dan Gross for its finance vertical; perhaps Yahoo’s biggest editorial coup yet — we suspect it will be top notch.
Then there’s the question of who will replace Cook. If you’re interested, Golis is taking resumes:
We need someone with both serious reporting and serious blogging chops; someone who has a broad knowledge base on issues as varied as business and crime and the ability to develop sources and expertise quickly … Only those with a deep understanding of online media will be considered.
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