Gawker hires NYT's Leah Finnegan, who 'hates the right people'

Leah Finnegan, a staff editor at the New York Times, has joined Gawker as senior editor. Finnegan "has a good Instagram account and hates the right people," Gawker Editor-in-Chief Max Read says in a memo to staffers, assuring them she'll help "each of you fake intelligence and sophistication day to day."

Aleksander Chan is also coming on full-time; he broke the story of now-former SiriusXM host Anthony Cumia's racist tweets. Once Chan starts working mornings, "radio shock jocks should take their Twitter accounts to private," Read writes.

Full memo:

Hi all--

I'm extremely pleased to announce that we've hired Leah Finnegan, formerly of The New York Times, as a senior editor. I hired Leah--as I hired many of you--because she has a good Instagram account and hates the right people, but luckily enough it turns out she is both an extremely sharp editor and fantastic writer; here at Gawker, she will do a great deal of both, helping each of you fake intelligence and sophistication day to day, commissioning pieces from freelancers, and writing frequently herself. (Leah doesn't just write and edit stories--she's also their subject! Here is a CNN story about her glasses: "We were all wondering - Is this the new hip thing? [...] 'I've worn glasses forever and have tried lots of different styles.'")

Leah's hiring coincides with another: We're bringing Aleks on full-time, partly to give him health insurance in case an Opie and Anthony fan tries to murder him, but mostly because he's a great writer, an insanely hard worker, and a consummate professional. He'll be working nights for the rest of the month and then joining Taylor on the early morning news beat, at which point radio shock jocks should take their Twitter accounts to private.

Both Leah and Aleks are from Texas, but since we have all been able to work calmly and professionally with several former residents of Philadelphia I don't think this will be a problem.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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