Owen Thomas Is Back; Named Executive Editor at VentureBeat

Technology sector, Owen Thomas just can’t quit you. A little over 10 months after leaving his post as managing editor of Valleywag to join NBC as editorial director for its Bay-area digital efforts, Thomas will join VentureBeat as executive editor April 1.

In a post on VentureBeat titled Back on the Beat: Owen Thomas Joins VentureBeat, Thomas explained the reasons for his latest move:

It’s a new job, but on familiar territory. Over the years, I’ve strayed from the tech beat to cover celebrities, finance, entertainment, and local news — all enjoyable in their own ways. But what I learned each time I’ve crossed over is that innovation is an unavoidable force across industries. It’s not a story; it’s the story. Why stand at the far shore counting ripples when you can watch from the top of the wave? That seems easier.

That’s not to say that covering tech is easy. There are facile ways to cover technology — announcing innovations rather than interpreting them. Smart entrepreneurs want praise that’s meaningful, when it’s given for hard work, innovation, and being at the top of their game. They like it when someone blows the whistle on dishonest competitors. And everyone wants to go beyond the news of the day to what it all means.

Technology coverage can err on the side of being too cerebral, though. It takes guts, as well as smarts, to be an entrepreneur. And the visceral realities of turning an idea into a business make for compelling dramas. Like a neighborhood cop who’s aware of everything that’s happening on their beat, it’s our job to find those stories and share them with you.

One start-up founder I know recently said that the problem with publications covering start-ups is that 99 percent of the information is private. I take that as a challenge — or rather, an opportunity. That’s why I’m back on the beat: The Valley has more stories to tell, and I’ve found a great place to tell them.