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John Solomon to Leave NewsBeast

Editor to devote himself to startup
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John Solomon, the muckraking journalist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast who secured an exclusive interview with the DSK maid, is leaving the company.

Solomon was a big get for NewsBeast editor Tina Brown, who hired him in May 2011 from the Center for Public Integrity, where he was executive editor. He previously was executive editor at the Washington Times and, before that, a reporter for The Washington Post and the Associated Press.

At NewsBeast, where Solomon was editor of news and investigations, he also investigated the Tea Party and police spending of anti-terrorism funds. His book on the DSK affair, DSK: Anatomy of a Scandal (St. Martin’s Press), is due out in May and is expected to be excerpted in Newsweek.

Solomon said he’s leaving to devote himself full time to the media and consulting company he helped found in 2009, Packard Media Group, which is still in its infancy. He expects to finish up his time at NewsBeast by the end of January.

Newsweek has made some progress this past year after a period of ownership and management upheaval; in December, it carried 15 percent more ad pages than the year-ago month. But for the full year 2011, ad pages were still down a whole 16.8 percent to 745, versus a 3.1 percent decline for the magazine industry overall, per Publishers Information Bureau figures released today. Other newsweeklies fared better, Time off 2.5 percent to 1,370; and The Economist, down 2.9 percent to 1,986.