NEW YORK –- The Intercept's editor-in-chief John Cook is leaving the First Look Media site to return to Gawker Media.
Cook left his perch as Gawker’s editor-in-chief in March to join the startup founded by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill and backed by billionaire Pierre Omidyar.
“Working with my Intercept colleagues has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my career, and my decision to leave was a painful one to make,” Cook said in a statement on The Intercept's site. “But I feel comfortable leaving in the knowledge that it is now perfectly situated to become a powerful journalistic force under new editorial leadership.”
This is the second time Cook has returned to the Gawker fold. He left Gawker in 2010 to join Yahoo News, but returned to the site that same year. In a new role, Cook will oversee investigations across Gawker Media sites.
Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison first reported news of the move on Twitter.
Scahill said in a statement that Cook "did a tremendous job in getting The Intercept off the ground."
“He was the perfect person to lead us through the inevitably difficult first year of figuring out how we wanted to function and exactly what we want to be," Scahill continued. "We are now preparing to expand The Intercept’s coverage and bring on more journalists.”
Cook’s departure comes on the heels of Matt Taibbi leaving First Look Media before he was able to launch The Racket, which was expected to be the company’s second digital magazine.
The Intercept -– in a piece written by Cook, Greenwald, Poitras and Scahill -- detailed the behind-the-scenes battles with management during the company’s first year.
This article was updated to include The Intercept's confirmation of Cook's departure and its posted statements.
Disclosure: This reporter previously worked with Cook at Yahoo News.