True, this is an inside baseball kind of story, but we feel we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it: Valleywag‘s longtime editor, Owen Thomas is leaving the the tech gossip blog. Where is Owen going? We wondered. Is there anyone in the Bay Area who’s a — shall we say — good enough sport to hire him after what he’s probably written about them or theirs?

The Appeal IMed Owen for confirmation, first getting an automatic response “Valleywag forever, bitches!”

Owen soon returned, confirming his departure, and saying “It is rather delightful to be gossiped about for a change. Do you know how exhausting it is to care about other people, when I can just bask in the glow of narcissism?” Owen, we can only imagine.

While Owen refused to confirm reports that he would be taking on a role at NBC11’s website (“At this point, Mr. Thomas disconcertingly began whistling off-key.” he IMed to the question), we were just as intrigued by rumors that Jackson West might be stepping into Owen’s shoes.

When we asked Owen, he spun “As I have said in the past, Jackson West is an extremely talented fellow. I expect to see great work from him in the future. He’s currently working with me on a relaunch of Ditherati, my venerable pre-blogging site of tech bitchiness.” Heh.

So we IMed Jackson, who was hard at work on a story for the Appeal He said “This is the first I’d heard of it. Owen, of course, is irreplaceable if in fact he is leaving. Whoever does end up on his beat has their work cut out for them.”

And who is it who has their work cut out, as it were? It’s actually former Gawker night editor Ryan Tate, who leaves the night shift for the V-ag’s greener pasture (or, at least, logo). Which means there’s a night editor position open at Gawker.

Jackson, you’re pretty nocturnal, aren’t you? Please, just wait until you’ve finished the third part of your twitter story before bailing on us, OK?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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