Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: Longtime Yahoo Front Page Editor Liz Lufkin Out

According to sources close to the situation, longtime Yahoo front page chief Liz Lufkin has parted ways with the company.

The departure last week appears to be related to a reorg by newish editor-in-chief Jai Singh, who used to run the editorial efforts for the Huffington Post, at the Silicon Valley Internet giant.

Singh appears to be setting up his own team and, thus, Lufkin was out.

Lufkin has been at Yahoo for many years, most recently as VP of front page programming. In that job, according to one bio, she supervised “editors in Sunnyvale, Santa Monica, New York and Dallas and consult[ed] to various international Yahoo! sites. Liz’s group contributed to the successful development of Yahoo’s pioneering content optimization personalization system, improving the relevancy of Front Page for users and providing new insights on audience behavior.”

Previous to Yahoo, she had been deputy managing editor at Gannett’s USATODAY.com and USA Today. She had a similar job at the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle.

Lufkin’s job at Yahoo is a critical one, given how powerful the front page of the site is, with 600 million unique visitors and billions of page views.

While the portal system has been under siege in recent years, it is still a massive driver of traffic to Yahoo’s own Web properties and elsewhere on the Internet.

Yahoo declined to comment (but I am right!).

UPDATE: Yahoo said that it had hired CNET editor-in-chief Scott Ard to take Lufkin’s place. Ard, who worked for the CBS-owned tech news property for 12 years, will report directly to Jai Singh, editor-in-chief of the Yahoo Media Network.

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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