nickdouglas2.jpgWe were wondering why Valleywag, the Silicon Valley gossip site some people hate and others love, wasn’t reading as witty as usual. We saw author Nick Douglas (pictured here) at Web 2.0 last week — suggesting he was back from vacation — but the site’s posts remained distant.

Now we have confirmation he is gone, with editor Nick Denton (pictured below) taking over, and posting the following:

Nick Douglas, the kid we plucked from college to launch Valleywag, will be a great journalist. And we will look stupid for letting him go. (To reach Nick Douglas, send email to popsnap at gmail dot com.) 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? We’re also in the market for a junior writer, who could be anyone from purebred blogger to frustrated publicist. Expressions of interest, or leads, to, please. Oh, yes, I forgot to say, I’m Nick Denton, and I’m standing in on Valleywag till we find a permanent replacement. This is the beat I covered at my last gig as a reporter. Okay, so I was bored running a business.

denton.bmpWe followed up in IM with Denton, to ask for more. Denton said: “I felt the site could be more….more popular, more authoritative, more like other gawker sites such as Defamer.” Huh, we responded, hadn’t Douglas developed a strong voice? Denton continued: “Yeah, Nick’s a talented writer, and will go a long way — and I’m not saying that. But we’re not that nurturing an environment…and he’s very young. Bottom line is that Nick was doing pretty well — Alexa rank heading up, etc — but I want Valleywag to be up with our flagship sites, like Gawker, Defamer and Wonkette. There are so many good stories here.”

By the way, check out this interview with Douglas at 10 Zen Monkeys we read the weekend before last, which suggested Douglas was looking at his next move…

Word is, Wired is looking at him, for potential hire.

We’ve emailed Douglas to see if he wants to talk.

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