Media Moves: Gawker's Newest Hire Poached from The Daily Beast

glen runviter.jpg
The Gawker masthead's been pretty busy in the last few months, and they haven't even had any of their doors kicked in! It's about to see a little more action, though, as they've now added another name to their editorial team.

At the beginning of April, we started sniffing around regarding a "Glen Runciter" byline that had started appearing next to some posts on the site. The byline was fake -- a pseudonym, named after a character from a Philip K. Dick novel -- but the traffic it was bringing in was very real. We weren't the only ones who noticed. So why the fake byline?

Very, very few writers on Gawker Media sites receive fake bylines. The only circumstance in which they would is if their writing for Gawker could infringe on their current employment, if Gawker were a part-time gig, or (as was this case) a try-out period.

Jezebel's "Tatiana the Anonymous Model" came out as model Jenna Sauers once she was finished modeling. "Azaria Jagger" came out as Maureen O'Connor after moonlighting for Gawker as a night editor while keeping a day job at The Daily Beast. Brass at The Daily Beast, when they found out after the fact, were reportedly "fucking pissed." Especially since Queen Beastie Tina Brown holds what's been described as an "obsessive distaste" for Gawker.

Well, wait until they get a load of this one: after some 'hardcore' research (Facebook, Google, etc.) we figured out that Glen Runciter -- who's been writing for Gawker since early April -- is none other than Daily Beast staffer Max Read, who's having his last day today at The Daily Beast to go work for Gawker full time.

And you can bet that when The Daily Beast brass hears that not one, but now two of the writers have been poached by Gawker, they will Not. Be. Happy. Especially since we hear Read's cousin is a higher-up editor at The Daily Beast. Ouch. But Max only has kind words to say:

"For what it's worth, everyone [at the Daily Beast] has been terrific about my departure -- maybe a little sad (I hope?) but definitely not "fucking pissed." ...I think at this point (mostly?) everyone over there knows that I've been posting at Gawker for a while now. I'm technically a freelancer there and not a staffer, so I never signed a noncompete or anything like that (at least, that's what I've been telling myself). And I don't think Tina Brown has any clue who I am, to be honest.

Anyway, I'm psyched to be writing for Gawker with my real name and sad to be leaving all the cool people at [The Daily Beast]."

A few other facts about the Gawker masthead: Jeff Neumann has also now been added as a staff writer. Neumann once wrote a book with a guy named Ray LeMoine called Babylon By Bus. Ray LeMoine assisted on Gawker's ground-level Oscar coverage this year. He did so with Gawker's Ravi Somaiya who, ha, has also written for The Daily Beast, in addition to having contributed to New York Times A1 articles.

Finally, Sergio Hernandez is the first intern to make the Gawker masthead in about -- as a casual estimate -- two years. It ain't all about who you know: Sometimes, plain old hustle helps out, too.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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