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The New York Times Gets Its David Pogue Replacement From the Wall Street Journal

Farhad Manjoo, who joined the Journal last September, leaves for a very high-profile job.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

The New York Times has found a replacement for David Pogue, its high-profile tech reviewer: Sources say the Times is filling his old slot with Farhad Manjoo, the Wall Street Journal columnist who recently joined that paper.

Manjoo joined the Journal last September, after a five-year stint at Slate. Pogue left the Times in November for Yahoo, where he launched a new consumer tech site this month.

Late last year the Journal announced it had assembled a new team of reviewers to replace Walt Mossberg, who left the paper to start this website; and Katie Boehret, who also left the Journal to join this site.

I’ve asked Manjoo, along with representatives for the Journal and the Times, for comment.

Update: Times business editor Dean Murphy has announced Manjoo’s hire, via Twitter:

You also can read Manjoo’s own comments on LinkedIn.

And here’s the very effusive internal NYT memo from Murphy and technology editor Suzanne Spector on the hiring, where Manjoo declares he will be “niche”-less:

He’s written about the whiteboard as the secret weapon of tech companies. He’s explained how the startup American Giant perfected the cotton hoodie. He’s bemoaned the awful state of restaurant websites (“the swankier the place, the worse the page.”). And he’s argued that a great way to reduce gun deaths would be to create smarter guns. He’s even defended Amazon against bookstores, suggesting the Internet giant does a better job fostering literary culture.

Farhad Manjoo has been a distinctive and provocative voice in the world of tech journalism at such places as Slate, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal.

Now he’s coming our way. We are thrilled to announce that Farhad will begin next month as Business Day’s new “State of the Art” columnist.

Times readers have been treated to Farhad’s work in the Times Magazine and the Home section, where he periodically wrote a “Home Tech” column before taking up his current job at The Journal. In one unforgettable piece about embracing technology to stay cool, he confessed that his crusade resulted from being humiliated after wearing shorts to a sweltering summer wedding. “In a prenuptial climate report, the couple had assured guests that they should feel free to ‘dress for comfort and safety’ rather than style,” he wrote. “And did I mention that the shorts happened to be pinstriped? I’m not the sort of man who wears just anything to a wedding.”

In his new role at The Times, Farhad will push “State of the Art” beyond traditional reviews to examine the tech industry more broadly and the role technology plays across the board — what he calls “tech’s intrusion into society.” And as with his pinstriped shorts episode, he plans to have fun doing so.

“Tech innovations now spider into every corner of our lives, altering our relationships with friends and family, our jobs, education, government, leisure time, finances, health and on and on,” he says. “My niche, then, is to have no niche.”

Farhad got his start in journalism as editor of his college newspaper at Cornell (he’ll be joining other Big Reds on BizDay, including Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jeff Sommer and Suzanne Spector). He went on to work at and Salon and write a book, “True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society,” which argues that modern technology pushes people to believe stories that aren’t true and to follow news that suits their beliefs. From there he went to Slate and Fast Company, landing at The Journal last September.

Farhad, who lives with his wife and children in the Bay Area, will be based in San Francisco, where he will join the best team of tech journalists in the business. His arrival is the first piece of an exciting re-imagining of our consumer technology coverage. More to come on that soon.

— Dean & Suzanne

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