SUNNYVALE, Calif. – New York Times technology columnist and gadget reviewer David Pogue is leaving the newspaper to cover similar topics for Yahoo.
The hiring announced Monday is the latest step in Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s effort to infuse the Internet company’s website with more compelling content that will persuade people to visit more frequently and stick around longer. Mayer is hoping the increased traffic will substantially boost Yahoo’s ad sales, although that has not yet happened during her first 15 months on the job.
Pogue built a loyal following reviewing devices and online services while delving into other technology issues during the past 13 years at the Times.
As he did at the Times, Pogue will write columns and produce videos at Yahoo. He also will oversee a planned expansion of Yahoo’s consumer technology coverage.
“I can’t think of a better person to make technology more accessible and helpful for the hundreds of millions of people who come to Yahoo every day,” Marissa wrote on Tumblr, an Internet blogging service that Yahoo Inc. acquired for $1.1 billion four months ago.
In a post on his Tumblr account, Pogue said he will continue several other gigs that had been supplementing his work at the Times. Those other endeavours include appearances on the “CBS Sunday Morning” program, “NOVA” specials on the PBS network and a column for Scientific American magazine. He also plans to keep writing his “Missing Manual” books about various technology products and services.
Pogue’s multimedia blitz helped establish him among the world’s most influential technology writers. A positive review from him could spur more sales of a device, drive more traffic to a website and generate more installations of applications for smartphones and tablets. His clout has helped him amass nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter.
It took Pogue several months and several visits to Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters before he had heard and seen enough to lure him away from the Times, according to his Tumblr post.
“Yahoo is a company that’s young, revitalized, aggressive and, under Marissa Mayer’s leadership, razor-focused,” Pogue said in a statement. “We all thrive on new experiences, and as someone who loves to build cool new stuff, I’m excited to jump in head first.”
He is the second prominent contributor that the Times has lost in the past three months. In July, statistical analysis guru Nate Silver cut his ties with the newspaper and moved his website to ESPN.
Another prominent technology reviewer, Walt Mossberg, is leaving The Wall Street Journal at the end of this year as part of the newspaper’s breakup with AllThingsD, a popular website that he co-runs with Kara Swisher.
Newspapers in general have been losing some of their top talent to Internet companies and other media outlets as a steep drop in print advertising has prompted publishers to lay off workers, reduce salaries and impose other cutbacks aimed at offsetting a steady decline in revenue over the past seven years.