Josh Quittner, former editor of the defunct Business 2.0, has extricated himself from his unhappy stay at Fortune by returning to Time, where he previously worked. Tellingly, Time editor Rick Stengel refers to him as a "writer" for Fortune, though he had the ostensible title of executive editor. Stengel's memo is included below. Quittner's new gig is his old gig, covering consumer technology, which takes him back roughly 13 years in the progress of his career. Funny, because we'd heard that Quittner had held serious talks with Michael Arrington about joining TechCrunch, around the same time he wrote a laudatory column about the tech blogger. All that puffery, and no job in exchange? A shame.
When I worked for Quittner at Business 2.0, he talked constantly about his long-held dream of going to a startup or launching a blog. That he's now choosing to stay at magazine publisher Time Inc. is useful as an economic indicator. Quittner boosted the Valley's comeback, and the business of blogging, long before other mainstream journalists. That he's turned bearish on both now could be a sign of personal cowardice. Or keen prescience.
April 16, 2008
To: TIME Staff
From: Rick Stengel
I'm delighted to announce that Josh Quittner is coming back to TIME to cover consumer technology with a regular column in the magazine and a daily blog on TIME.com. In his new role as editor-at-large, Josh will apply his singular voice to technology, writing both reviews of new products and features that explain what's most important to consumers in Techland.
Most recently, Josh was the managing editor of Business 2.0 and a writer for FORTUNE. He first had a byline in TIME in 1994 as a staff writer covering technology, back at the very beginning of the internet. He went on to launch "The Netly News," first as a website on Pathfinder and later as a column in the magazine. He subsequently served as editor of TIME.com—twice—as well as tech editor of TIME before moving to San Francisco in 2002 to work for Business 2.0. Prior to coming to Time Inc., Josh worked at Newsday in the early 90s, where he wrote a pioneering column called "Life in Cyberspace."
Josh will continue to work from San Francisco where he lives with his wife, journalist Michelle Slatalla (with whom he has co-written five books) and their three daughters, but I expect he'll be in the New York offices regularly. Josh is a great mind and a great brand to have back at TIME. We're fortunate to have him.