When false reports of the deaths of Lady Gaga or Jeff Goldblum get blasted all over Twitter, it becomes a trend piece in The New York Times. “The Internet Who Cried Wolf” serves as a gentle reminder that not everything you read online is true.
The media equivalent of course, would be Anna Wintour’s departure from Vogue. There have been so many rumors, sworn testimonies and first-hand accounts of the editrix leaving Condé Nast that sometimes it seems like she’s hanging on there just to spite the morning’s headlines.
But recently, the magazine departure watchdogs have had a new person of interest: BusinessWeek.com’s editor-in-chief John Byrne. Except this time, the gossipers were right. Turns out, Byrne is leaving the Bloomberg LP-owned business magazine to launch a digital media company in San Francisco.
Retracing the history of the rumor: Keith Kelly first reported on October 21 that Byrne might be leaving BusinessWeek after its sale to Bloomberg was completed. It made sense: Byrne’s family was on the opposite coast, making it one hell of a commute.
That’s around the time that the departures started at BusinessWeek, as editor-in-chief Stephen Adler and BusinessWeek president Keith Fox announced their resignations. Then came the layoffs last week, which included media columnist Jon Fine. It was totally within the realm of possibility that Byrne would be part of the exodus.
But it was not to be: a company flack dispelled the rumors of Byrne’s departure, and in a November 5 letter to the staff, Bloomberg’s chief content officer Norman Pearlstine wrote that Byrne would “continue in [his] editorial leadership role.”
Although this denial turned out to be the real falsehood. This afternoon Peter Kafka of All Things Digital tweeted around 4 pm: “Businessweek.com editor John Byrne out.” It’s now been confirmed by minOnline which adds, “Byrne is relocating to San Francisco (where his wife and BW alumna Kate Rodler, is based) with plans to launch a new digital media company.”
BusinessWeek‘s media column (still titled “Fine on Media” by the way) also posted about Byrne’s departure, saying:
“He will be re-locating to the San Francisco area. Byrne was recently married to Kate Rodler, who resides in Marin County. Byrne did not elaborate on what kind of media company he was interested in launching, or whether he had any financial backers.
Byrne himself confirmed his departure on Twitter, proving that sometimes these pesky social networking sites are good for something.
John Byrne To Leave BusinessWeek –minOnline