Gawker just put out the word that the site's new West Coast editor will be Richard Rushfield, currently at LATimes.com. The note from Gawker's editor in chief is below (and, after the jump, a note from LAT.com chief Meredith Artley.)
From: Gabriel Snyder
Date: July 27, 2009 3:22:47 PM EDT
Subject: Meet Gawker's new West Coast Editor
Ever since Defamer was merged into Gawker earlier this year, I've been looking for the right person to hire in L.A., so I'm pleased to announce someone who was worth the wait: Richard Rushfield is joining Gawker as its new West Coast Editor. From his Venice bungalow he'll proudly fly the Defamer flag as well as pitch in with charting the general editorial direction of the site.
Richard joins us from the Los Angeles Times where he's been the Entertainment Editor of their web site since 2005. While that paper has had its fair share of internal changes -- and lots of meetings, I'm told -- Richard put together one of its true bright points, overseeing a staff of writers and reporters who work primarily for latimes.com and attack the kinds of stories that are as relevant to industry insiders as they are entertaining and insightful to a national audience.
Like any good generalist, Richard's career has spanned a number of worlds. He's done political campaign organizing, worked as a reality show producer, has a prolific freelancing career for magazines including Vanity Fair, Details, Los Angeles, Blackbook and Arena, co-founded satire magazine LA Innuendo ("a low-rent Spy for people who love the things that they hate about LA"), published On Spec: A Novel of Young Hollywood, and has Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost, a memoir of his college years, due out this November.
After some much-deserved decompression, Richard will be starting with us on August 31. Please join me in welcoming him aboard.
* Note to the LAT staff from Meredith Artley:
From: Artley, Meredith
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 12:14 PM
Subject: Richard Rushfield
I come bearing sad news. Richard Rushfield, entertainment editor for latimes.com, has been wooed away by Gawker.
Richard is perhaps best known for covering a little TV show called American Idol like no one else, bringing unique coverage and discussion of a popular culture juggernaut to latimes.com. But that’s just one part of his legacy – his leadership and contributions to our online entertainment effort are countless and something that our talented team of producers and editors will continue to build upon.
Richard’s last day is August 4th. Please join me in thanking/kicking him in the meantime. We will miss him, and even though we thought we’d never say it, we’ll miss that green plaid jacket.
Managing Editor, Online