06:01 AM

Cory "Scoop" Johnson, the face of Silicon Valley on financial news channel CNBC quits for hedge fund

by Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

Cory Johnson, Silicon Valley reporter for CNBC, a familiar figure around the valley and on TV screens nationwide, has joined a hedge fund run by Carlo Cannell. Mr Cannell is considered one of the top US hedge fund managers, consistently producing average annual returns of more than 35 percent.

Cory Johnson is one of my favorite hacks in the Silicon Valley Hack Pack and his tall lanky frame and distinctive style of reporting will be sorely missed by many. Cory has been a big supporter of SiliconValleyWatcher, and says CNBC editors regularly watch the Watcher.

Just before the New Year he gave me an absolutely classic Cory-style endorsement, he said: “Tom I love the blog—you are the man that Chris Nolan could have been!”

[Update: Cory meant "the man" in the colloquial sense of becoming an authority, not in the gender sense, and anyway, I think I still have a long way to go yet...]

For those with short memories, stand-alone journalist Chris Nolan used to write a very popular Silicon Valley column for the San Jose Mercury about five years ago. It was a must read. But a messy dispute with the Merc over a tiny amount of friends and family stock she received led to Chris leaving the newspaper. She went traveling to China and India and then returned to journalism a couple of years ago, writing the political news blog, “ChrisNolan.com- Politics from Left to Right.” Last year I tried to persuade her to come back and write about Silicon Valley but she said she prefers the political beat.

[Update: Please see comments section for full description of Chris's work over the past five years.]

I can’t see Cory lasting more than a few months at the hedge fund because he is a reporter through and through. He has newspaper ink running through his veins (as they used to say when print had a much more viable business model!)

Before CNBC he was the top columnist at The Industry Standard—one of the iconic news magazines of the dotcom boom, stuffed to bursting with hundreds of pages of dotcom advertising. The dotbomb fallout, and parent IDG’s mismanaged efforts to prepare The Industry Standard for an IPO, led to its swift demise. I remember how shocking that was at the time. . .

Prior to The Industry Standard he worked in many other senior reporting/editorial positions covering different sectors, not just tech.

Working at CNBC provided a very good paycheck but the job lacked the editorial freedom he was used to. He wrote all his commentary on CNBC and broke many news stories but tight controls over his reporting was a constant frustration.

Cory, when you get fed up with the hedge fund, come join me on the Watcher--you were born for this medium. I’ll leave the light on.


Exlusive interview with trainee assistant hedge fund manager CJ coming up on the Watcher--I'll be asking the tough questions, such as: "Do you think you could get me a date with Maria?" And, "Did you know that you look a lot taller in real life than on TV?"