Big Changes at Vocativ, Startup Founded to Find News on the 'Dark Net'

Chief Content Officer, Editorial Director Depart, New Editor-in-Chief Named

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In an editorial realignment at Vocativ, the digital media company founded in 2013 to scour the "deep web" for news stories, Chief Content Officer Gregory Gittrich is leaving and editorial director Alex Koppelman has left. Former Jezebel editor Jessica Coen, who joined as an editorial director in October, was promoted to VP and editor-in-chief.

Mr. Gittrich's depature was announced in a Friday staff memo; Mr. Koppelman confirmed his departure to Ad Age.

Mr. Gittrich is departing "to take on a new opportunity," Vocativ founder Mati Kochavi wrote in the memo, a copy of which was provided to Ad Age by a spokeswoman.

"I'm grateful to Greg for his partnership and his many accomplishments over this last year," Mr. Kochavi wrote. "He was the right leader for an important time in our company's development and we wish him every success in his career." Mr. Gittrich's last day is April 1.

Mr. Koppelman said he is exploring other opportunities. "I wish them the best," he told Ad Age.

Like other digital media startups, Vocativ has experienced some editorial turnover and restructuring over its brief life so far. The company laid off several editorial staffers in February 2015, but has also added a lot of editorial talent in recent months.

In the same memo that addressed Mr. Gittrich's departure, Mr. Kochavi also announced several promotions. "In a few short months, Jessica has become a driving force of both our coverage and our editorial voice," he said of Ms. Coen.

Win Rosenfeld was named VP-creative director, Jishai Evers was named VP-product and Susie Banikarim was named senior VP-audience and content strategy.

On the business side, Miri Cohen was named VP-operations and Tomer Shani was named VP-technology.

Mr. Kochavi also said that Vocativ will establish a branded content studio. (He told Ad Age in January that his company banks "tens of millions" of dollars from branded content deals.)

Both Mr. Gittrich and Mr. Koppelman were marquee hires when they joined Vocativ in early 2015. Mr. Gittrich had most recently served as executive editor of NBC News Digital, and Mr. Koppelman had worked as enterprise editor at Guardian U.S., following a stint at The New Yorker.

Mr. Gittrich did not respond to an email request for comment by press time.

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