04:45 AM

11.13.06: Denton fires Valleywagger Nick Douglas

Nick Denton reveals on his Valleywag site that he has fired Nick Douglas, the cub reporter who's been blogging away on the dirty skinny from Campbell to San Mateo.

Denton notes that the site needs a little more hardboiled reporter - "But, to helm the site, we're now looking for someone with, ideally, some background in reporting. An old-media career, useful in the sparkling new world of blogs. Who would have thought?" - and a little less sex.

We're still going to break open secrets ... but I suspect we're going to tone down the personal coverage of civilians, because they haven't done anything to seek out attention, and their personal lives aren't that interesting. Unless they are. Anyway, more money, a little less sex: that is Valleywag's new gossip mantra.

Matt Marshall at VentureBeat talked to Denton briefly, who said, as talented as Douglas is, the site wasn't living up to expectations to deliver Wonkette-level audience.

Marshall predicts hurtin' Wired News will pick him up.

UPDATE: From Tom Foremski

Nick Douglas did a fine job with ValleyWag although by the time he left he had burnt a few bridges/contacts.

Nick Douglas will do well, he has a great nose for a story. But surviving in SF on the kind of wages Nick Denton pays is very difficult even if you are a young (ex)student.

That's a key weakness for the Gawker business model, find good writers, train them up a little bit, pay them very little and then watch them go places where they can make more money-- and then have to do it again, and again.

I'm sure Nick Denton would rather be doing something else, such as running his business than having to do a job that pays peanuts. Which goes to show that Nick Douglas's departure was rather sudden.

Some clues on Nick Douglas's next project over at 10 Zen Monkeys:

Interview With Valleywag Nick Douglas - 10 Zen Monkeys (a webzine)

Nick Douglas did send me a note saying he was open to a new gig, especially in video.