Shortly after former gossip reporter John Cook was named editor-in-chief of Gawker, he posted a job listing on the site for a new gossip reporter. Five months later, that position has finally been filled—by J.K. Trotter.
“I’m just very, very happy for the opportunity to work with John, whose work I’ve followed for a long time, and everyone else at Gawker, who have been really nice (so far),” Mr. Trotter told The Observer in an email.
Mr. Cook announced the hire today in a staff email, which included news of two other hires: Leah Beckmann has been promoted from associate editor to assistant managing editor and Taylor Berman overcame the hazing that is the freelance night shift to become a staff writer.
Last week, Gawker editor John Cook launched a crowd-funded project to purchase an alleged videotape of Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. They called it a “Crackstarter,” a play on Kickstarter, and aimed to raise $200,000 from viewers like you. As of this writing, more than $196,000 has been pledged.
It isn’t clear that Gawker will even be able to buy the video. Mr. Cook has been unable to get in touch with the video’s owner for over a week. (Mr. Cook did not return our request for comment). But one thing’s for sure: if Mr. Cook does manage to track down the owner and purchase the video, it will mean a big payday for Gawker. A post containing the video could draw record pageviews and advertising revenue.
“When someone comes into your house and throws shit around, you get pissed,” Anna Holmes told The Observer. She was speaking in metaphor: The house was the Gawker Media women’s interest blog Jezebel, of which she was the founding editor; the someone was the blog’s commenters, a famously undisciplined crowd.
“If you open your front door to people they just act like jerks,” agreed former Gizmodo editor Joel Johnson. Now the managing editor of Animal NY, he favors abolishing comments sections altogether.
Blog proprietor Nick Denton has a different plan—he’s giving them the run of the place. The commenters are creating content, after all, just like the writers. What’s the difference?
“I want to erase this toxic Internet class system,” he told The Observer in a gmail chat.
“Nick has always loved to subtly and not so subtly insult his employees,” said Gawker writer John Cook. “He thinks of us as glorified commenters.”
Aggregator extraordinaire Matt Drudge briefly linked to Gawker’s story that alleged ABC’s Robin Roberts “wasn’t enthusiastic” about landing her big gay marriage interview with President Obama because she was worried it would call attention to the “near-open secret that Roberts is a lesbian” this afternoon and the site took the opportunity to taunt him with an update.
“Internet behemoth Matt Drudge, who has just directed his readers to this post, is also commonly understood to be gay,” the update said.
2012: Corzine, Orin Kramer raising for Obama. [Page Six]
1964: Bill Clinton visited Times Square, saw “a hooker approach a man in a gray flannel suit.” [Politico]
The Lede: “You can’t find a hooker in Times Square anymore, former President Bill Clinton lamented Wednesday.” [Adam Lisberg]
Gawker.com, where the author is employed as a staff writer, declined to publish this story.
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Gawker has found someone to fill its empty editor/reporter position: John Cook, who left Nick Denton last April to join the expanding ranks at Yahoo.
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A New York Times front page story from Monday by veteran James Risen about mineral riches in Afghanistan has quickly become a story about how The New York Times deals with criticism.
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CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite offered his advice and his news division’s resources to anti-Vienam student organizers from Rollins College in 1969, according to FBI documents uncovered in the latest Freedom of Information Law treatment from John Cook.
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Noted up-and-coming young blogger Foster Kamer has another scoop today: it seems that investigative reporter John Cook will be leaving Gawker for Yahoo News.
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