Mr. Pendergrass, a former communications VP at Coke, said his work at the Times will focus on watching the spin game as it plays out relative to the day's big business stories.
"Sometimes [it will be about] watching the spinners and sometimes it's watching the journalists and usually it's going to be about the game between the two," Mr. Pendergrass said. "There's a lot of spin-watching in politics but not nearly as much in business, which is interesting to me because having worked inside and around corporations all my life, they usually choose their words pretty carefully, and a lot of times there is more meaning to be picked up in what seems like an otherwise sterile statement if you really look at it."
He said the idea behind his work will be to take what readers see in the papers break it down and present it to them filtered through the eyes of a "working flack."
"There's a pretty big appetite for people wanting to see underneath the story they read in the newspaper," Mr. Pendergrass said. "Things like 'The Daily Show' have fueled that. People want to be the savviest consumer of news they can be and my background gives me a particular angle on things that are different than a traditional journalist."
Mr. Pendergrass will be writing for the Deal Book and Business Day sections of the paper and be reporting to Times columnist and chief mergers and acquisitions reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin (who's been mentioned in a Flack column before). He said he will continue to keep his day job consulting and speech writing while writing "a few short posts during the week and some longer posts, which will occasionally end up in print when they're relevant."