Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Valleywag Wags About, Well, Valleywag

I had an entertaining lunch with Owen Thomas and Megan McCarthy, both of Valleywag, the Silicon Valley online gossip rag that is part of the Gawker Media blogging empire.

(Megan had asked for some advice about the fine art of covering parties–that is, making an interesting story where there is not one–since I started my career covering parties for the Washington Post.)

Thomas, whom I have know for many years, is the new managing editor of Valleywag, a gig he got in July after many years as an editor and writer at Business 2.0 magazine.

Here is a talk with him about the state of the blog and Valleywag’s focus under him, as well as an appearance by McCarthy, and more info after the jump:

Thomas has a lot of digital experience, too, as a contributor to the legendarily snarky Suck site, and he was an early convert in the mainstream media to the inevitability of the digital space. His last job at Business 2.0 was as online editor for the Time Inc. title.

Thomas’s predecessor was Gawker publisher and impresario Nick Denton, in fact, who took over writing the blog after he sacked its first editor, Nick Douglas (who still writes posts regularly for Valleywag). Soon enough, Denton fired himself and hired Thomas.

In his post on the move, Denton said: “You see, Thomas isn’t just a veteran of business journalism, with excellent sources in the tech industry (most of which he will burn).”

And indeed, so far Thomas has been busy slapping around the denizens of Silicon Valley (including me for being too nice to Yahoo U.S. sales head Dave Karnstedt) with the newfound vigor of a man freed from the mainstream media.

Not everyone likes it, finding some posts too snarky and cutting, but everyone does seem to read it.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald