4:39 pm Mar. 1, 2012
The New York Post has lost a high-ranking editor to one of its former high-ranking editors.
Erle Norton, the editor of the newspaper's website, has resigned after four and a half years at the helm of nypost.com, Capital has learned. His last day on the job is Friday, sources said.
Norton's new employer? Reuters, where he will work for Dan Colarusso, the former Post business and metro editor who famously walked out of the Post's newsroom in December of 2007, shortly after Norton was hired. Colarusso, following interstitial tours at Condé Nast Portfolio, Business Insider and Bloomberg TV, recently jumped to the ever-evolving wire service to oversee its financial video.
At Reuters, which is in the midst of an ongoing consumer-facing push, Norton will be responsible for streamlining three separate offerings: A recently launched YouTube channel, a professional service called Reuters Insider, and a service that distributes video to media clients.
"I needed some connective tissue there, someone with an understanding of both business and the web," said Colarusso, who worked with Norton at finance website The Street. "He understands how to do business news for a consumer audience, and he has the breaking news sensibility of the Post."
Norton, who's also worked at The Wall Street Journal and CNBC.com, appears to be leaving the Post on better terms than his soon-to-be boss. He gave notice sometime within the past few weeks and will receive a send-off from colleagues tomorrow evening, according to insiders.
But as with others who have fled the money-losing News Corp. tabloid for greener pastures, Norton's job was said to be fraught.
At a dinosaur like the Post, there are still veteran newsmen who believe today's news can comfortably break on the next morning's wood, and so "protect" it from the web lest someone else wedge it into their print edition, too. And it was in this climate that Norton was met with challenges in his efforts to build up the paper's online operation, according to people familiar with the situation, who said he wasn't able to grow his department to the extent he wanted to.
"There's not a lot of respect for the website in the newsroom," one source told us.
Nevertheless, nypost.com is a beast that needs to be fed 24 hours a day. (Especially if it is to win over some of the 10.1 million unique users that visited the website of its rival, the Daily News, in January, compared to to the 6.5 million who visited nypost.com that month, according to comScore.)
None of our sources knew who would really be in charge of the website as of Monday. But we're told the remaining web staff of about five are "totally demoralized."
A spokesperson for the Post did not immediately have a comment; Norton did not respond to emailed requests for comment Thursday afternoon.
Norton is not the only departing journalist to whom Post staffers are bidding farewell.
William Gorta, Brooklyn state courts reporter, has resigned to take a job at the local Manhattan news start-up DNAinfo, where he will join former Post investigative ace Murray Weiss and several other alums of the tabloid.
At DNAinfo, which is gearing up for an expansion into the outer boroughs, Gorta will be a senior editor, according to editorial director Leela de Kretser, who used to work at (surprise!) the Post.
"We're really excited to have him on board," she said.
"In many ways I'm sad to leave," said Gorta, whose last day is next Friday. (Send-off drinks next Thursday.) "It's been a glorious 11 years, but this was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up."
*An earlier version of this article described William Gorta's title as associate metro editor, as indicated on his LinkedIn profile. His most recent position at the Post has been Brooklyn state courts reporter.
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