The Intercept‘s editor-in-chief, John Cook, who spent the year tripling our staff size and significantly increasing our daily journalistic output, is leaving at the end of the year to return to Gawker Media. Deputy Editor Ryan Tate will continue to work with John and the rest of the newsroom to effect a smooth transition until the search for Cook’s permanent replacement, already underway, is completed.
“Working with my Intercept colleagues has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my career, and my decision to leave was a painful one to make,” Cook said. “But I feel comfortable leaving in the knowledge that it is now perfectly situated to become a powerful journalistic force under new editorial leadership.”
Cook led The Intercept beginning the month after its launch last February. With last week’s addition of a new National Security Editor, Sharon Weinberger, and another reporter, he oversaw its expansion into a current staff of two dozen journalists and editors, with multiple new hires already budgeted over the next several months. That is on top of First Look Media’s team of research specialists, technologists, graphics experts, and lawyers who regularly work with our journalists and editors.
“John Cook did a tremendous job in getting The Intercept off the ground,” said Intercept co-founding editor Jeremy Scahill. “He was the perfect person to lead us through the inevitably difficult first year of figuring out how we wanted to function and exactly what we want to be. We are now preparing to expand The Intercept’s coverage and bring on more journalists.”
“I left an incredibly fulfilling job at Gawker because I was convinced that The Intercept would become an innovative and influential force in adversarial journalism,” Cook said. “The last year hasn’t been easy, but I am convinced more than ever that this is exactly what The Intercept is fast becoming.”
First came the Never Trumpers, and I did not speak out, because they stood against Donald Trump. Then came the Lincoln Project, and I did not speak out, because their videos went viral. Then came the Chamber of Commerce, and by then it was too late.