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New Guard At Gawker: Denton Takes The Helm (Plus New Sci-Fi Blog!)

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: On December 31, 2007, Gawker bid farewell to managing editor Choire Sicha, editor Emily Gould, and after hours editor Josh Stein, and today Gawker publishes under a new managing editor: Gawker media founder and publisher Nick Denton.

In other Gawker-related news: Today they kick off a science-fiction blog, i09 (which HuffPo broke back in June, incidentally). Helmed by former Wired News writer Annalee Newitz, it will cover the apparently in-demand science fiction beat (who knew?) which apparently includes the trials of Tron's creator, fave post-apocalyptic movies of all time and various deficiencies of mutant men. According to Denton, the Gawker Media audience is nearly three times as likely to read and/or watch Sci-Fi as the web average (no doubt the Gizmodo/Kokatu synergies help there).

Speaking of things post-apocalyptic, did we mention that Nick Denton is Gawker's newest managing editor? Here's one of his first orders of business: Hire Julia Allison! That man knows commenter traffic when he sees it. She'll be liveblogging today from 2-6 pm. Otherwise, so far the only changes we can discern is an apparent new post-as-you-go policy with a flurry of early posts by Stein pubbed in the wee hours (I guess he wasn't quite done). Both Gould and Stein published respective farewell posts on Monday, Dec. 31st (see here and here); departing managing editor and seeming lifetime Gawker stalwart Sicha did not publish a farewell (though he did publish a massive history of New York as seen through the NYT metro section, which apparently constituted light holiday reading for over 32,000 people). Sicha, who ping-ponged back and forth to Gawker, is not truly leaving; he'll continue to file for Gawker as a "columnist" (but, he'll have to cut back, because in the true Sicha tradition, he's got an assignment, from....the New York Observer, for whom he will be traveling to New Hampshire to cover the primary on Thursday).

That's about enough Gawker news for a Wednesday morning. To recap: Science Fiction blog; farewell to Gould, Stein and Sicha (not really); new-but-not-all-that-new managing editor. Gawker 2008!

Update: Apparently that's not enough Gawker news for a Wednesday morning! Here's more: (1) Mark Graham (Whatevs, VH1) has been hired as managing editor of Defamer; Mark Lisanti and Seth Abramovitch will continue to write; Graham will write occasionally but will presumably have his hands full responding to cease-and-desist letters from Bert Fields. (2) Recently-hired Wonkette editor John Clarke Jr. has been replaced with — deep breath — former Wonkette editor Ken Layne. Layne quit in October but, in the spirit of Sicha, now returns; or, in the spirit of himself, since he's another Gawker stalwart, formerly of Spolid which he co-edited with — another deep breath — Sicha. (3) Josh Stein, who recall just wrote a heartfelt farewell post, is still posting because he's now the...night editor, until further notice. Stein will be moving to London this month so posting in the wee hours will presumably be no problem. Apparently, people find it really, really difficult to leave Nick Denton.(4) Former Valleywag editor (and ETP contributor) Nick Douglas returns to the Gawker Media fold as a reviewer/contributor on the web culture beat. See above re: Leaving Denton. Maybe he implants a chip? (5) Early-morning posting flurry: Part of new "round the clock coverage," according to Denton (who also seems to be gunning for round-the-clock-coverage himself with all this stuff!). But, that said, that's it — at least for now. Update to the Update: Oh, now Denton weighs in. Masthead update: Nick's name up top; contributors divided into "Media Reporters" and "Bloggers."

Gawker's New Sci-Fi Blog (Finally) Launches [Silicon Alley Insider]
Gawker in 2008 [Gawker]

Related:
Emily Gould: My Top 8 Greatest Achievements At Gawker [Gawker]
Josh Stein: The Pleasure Was Mine [Gawker]

Choire Sicha To Leave Gawker (Again); Emily Gould To Leave For The First Time
[ETP]

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