It was not exactly the snazziest 22 months of former Page Six scoop-meister Richard Johnson’s career. And with today’s announcement that News Corp’s iPad endeavor The Daily will officially fade to touch-screen black December 15, his tenure as west coast bureau chief is set to end with a whimper.
In a memo to staff today, The Daily’s Jesse Angelo and Greg Clayman ridiculously boasted that despite “great original reporting, excellent design and custom interactivity… Unfortunately we have not been able to build a big enough audience fast enough to make our business model work.” (Great reporting? They posted a photo of me that was somebody else.*)
Adweek reporter Tony Case and others are already speculating about Johnson’s possible return to the New York Post fold. We’re hearing that may soon be officially announced, but with Johnson staying here on the west coast.
Update – 12/03/12: Johnson has now confirmed those immediate plans via a brief separate post by Finke.
*Update – 12/03/12: Given Finke’s re-denial of The Daily photo shown above, we thought it only fair to give Hunter Walker the opportunity to comment as well. He is after all the person who orchestrated the photo opp on behalf of Johnson. Walker, now back in NYC and writing for the New York Observer, told FishbowlLA the following:
“I can tell you that I obtained Finke’s address and verified that it was correct. When she was informed on the phone that we had the picture, she tried to tempt us with various unspecified “scoops” she was willing to give us.”
“To avoid any potential legal drama, I think the only way I can describe the photo itself is to say it’s a “mystery woman” who looks a lot like Nikki Finke coming out of Nikki Finke’s house. I leave the question of just who exactly this mystery woman who looks like Nikki and left her house was to you and your readers.”
Previously on FishbowlLA:
EXCLUSIVE: Richard Johnson on Living and Daily-ing in LA
Rating the New Richard Johnson Gossip