Yesterday we learned of a couple of big changes in the Silicon Valley tech journalism game: the head of Valleywag is headed to The Verge and her replacement will be the writer/marketer formerly known as “Fake Steve Jobs.”
Nitasha Tiku, a seasoned reporter who has written for many pubs including New York magazine and BetaBeat (where she had the good humor to share her staff’s reactions to our post on “the world’s first Vine press release“), will be senior West Coast writer at the Vox property. Business Insider broke that news Thursday morning, and Re/code followed with a report that Dan Lyons, currently marketing fellow at HubSpot, will be her replacement.
In case you hoped that this move will mean a kinder, gentler Valleywag, think again: here’s what Lyons told us about 9to5Mac’s Apple PR reveal back in September:
“I have no problem with Apple being as manipulative as it possibly can. That is what PR is supposed to do, and Apple is very good at PR. The real culprits are the reporters and bloggers who play along.”
In other words, he does not play along.
Lyons had a notoriously testy relationship with the company’s former chief of PR Katie Cotton. For some reason, Cotton didn’t much care for his fake Jobs persona — and in 2010 he told CNN that she tried to convince Newsweek not to hire him.
He even did a bit of light trolling when Cotton announced that she would be stepping down in May — and in case you missed it, the source who spilled Mac secrets to us in September hinted that she “did not leave voluntarily.”
Of course we can’t speak for either journalist, but while The Verge is not as notorious for breaking unflattering news as Valleywag, we can’t imagine an investigative writer like Tiku publishing too many fawning profiles of startups and their latest fundraising announcements.
Given Lyons’ history and the fact that he has a writing credit for the second season of HBO’s Silicon Valley, we have little doubt that he will gladly continue the Sam Biddle/Tiku tradition of knocking tech wunderkinds off their venture-capital-backed thrones.
But if you need an outlet to post your clients’ “thinly rewritten press releases,” there’s always TechCrunch (according to Valleywag, that is).