Rumor: Annalee Newitz to helm new Gawker sci-fi blog?

A source close to the hire hints that longtime tech writer Newitz, currently a freelancer for Wired's blog network, will be at the helm of a new title from the NYC-based blog network.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
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Trekkies rejoice (or beware): The rumors are getting stronger that New York-based blog network Gawker Media will be launching a science fiction themed title in the near future, and we're hearing that Wired blogger and freelance writer Annalee Newitz has been chosen for the top post at the new blog. The original rumor, as reported last week by the Huffington Post hinted that Gawker Media had nabbed a writer for its new, yet-to-be-named blog from Wired; a source confirmed to CNET News.com that the title will indeed be launching soon and that an editor has been hired.

A separate person familiar with the hire told us that the editor in question is longtime tech writer Newitz, currently a freelancer at the Wired.com Table of Malcontents geek-subculture blog. Newitz is also a columnist for AlterNet and runs her own blog, Techsploitation.

Annalee Newitz, Gawker's latest scoop? techsploitation.com

Additionally, the Wired blog that Newitz has been writing for will soon be no more. On Monday, Table of Malcontents confirmed "dark murmurs" that it would be shutting down on June 30. Editor John Brownlee attempted to reassure readers by saying that he and contributor Eliza Gauger would be "very likely to have at least one new blog for you to visit come June 30th" and that fellow contributors Newitz and Lisa Katayama would continue to blog for Wired's "Underwire" pop-culture blog.

Wired News is discontinuing several blogs, including iTable of Malcontents and another called Listening Post. Underwire, a digital music and media blog, will absorb most of the writers who were working on the closed blogs in an effort to consolidate resources. The site will now have 12 blogs, down from 16 in February.

"Fewer titles with more writers is the new strategy," said Wired News Editor Evan Hansen.

There have been personnel connections between Table of Malcontents and Gawker Media blogs in the past. Brownlee contributed to Gawker Media's Consumerist blog before leaving in October 2006 to helm the then-new Table of Malcontents. Contributor Lisa Katayama also has contributed in the past to Gawker's Gizmodo title as a freelancer.