Another tabloid vet leaves for DNAinfo

James Fanelli. (nydailynews.com)
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DNAinfo, the neighborhood news website funded by billionaire TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, has added yet another journalist from the city's tabloids to its masthead.

James Fanelli, an assistant city editor at the Daily News, will leave the paper after this week for a new gig as a general assignment reporter for DNAinfo.

Reached by phone Monday afternoon, Fanelli declined to comment.

But DNAinfo editorial director Leela de Kretser, asked about her latest poach, told Capital: "I am absolutely over the moon to have Jim. He's a great reporter and I'm really looking forward to seeing him break stories for DNAinfo.com.”

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Since getting the site off the ground in November 2009, De Kretser, herself a former New York Post writer and editor, has nabbed a half-dozen or so newsroom hands from the two tabloids, including veterans like Murray Weiss, Nicole Bode and Billy Gorta.

Of course the talent flows both ways: One of DNAinfo's earliest stars, Shayna Jacobs, who with Weiss broke the bombshell Upper East Side Madame story, left for a job at the News back in March.

In either case, DNAinfo has proven a formidable competitor in the race for metro scoops, and has been keeping the tabloids on their toes with its more nimble, neighborhood-embedded approach to covering the news.

Thursday is Fanelli's last day at the News, where he's lately been editing courts and transit coverage.

Before joining the News as a reporter two years ago, Fanelli was a reporter on the Post's Sunday enterprise desk. He left the paper in June 2010 amid a mini-exodus attributed to editor-in-chief Col Allan's "bullying management style," as Gawker's Hamilton Nolan put it at the time.