OLD Media Moves

O'Brien named new Mercury News columnist

May 8, 2008

Chris O’Brien, a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury News, has been named a business columnist at the paper.

Chris O'BrienO’Brien joins Mike Cassidy as a business columnist. Former business columnists Vindu Goel and Dean Takahashi left the paper earlier this year. Goel left for the New York Times, while Takahashi went to write for VentureBeat. O’Brien is replacing Goel.

In an e-mail to the Mercury News staff, business editor Stephen Trousdale writes that O’Brien “has demonstrated a capacity for thoughtful analysis, strong writing and dogged journalism that has made him the go-to person for big stories. That culminated in the decision to have him cover, with Pete Carey, the Knight Ridder sale saga, showing the paper’s confidence in his judgment and ability to handle a delicate story for us that had so much importance for our readers.

“He’s also deeply thoughtful and passionate about our business, having spent much of the past year analyzing it and looking for new ways to engage our readers, skills that will come in handy in his new job.

“While the column will cast a wide net over the businesses and culture that make Silicon Valley unique, Chris wants to focus his column on the new ideas, people and policies that continue to reshape this region.  In tandem with the print column, Chris will be launching a new daily blog.”

O’Brien tells Talking Biz News that his column, which is in search of a name, will start on May 18, and it will run on Sundays and Wednesdays.

O’Brien, who has been co-writing the “Docu-Drama” blog for the Mercury News about tidbits from SEC filings, has covered the Silicon Valley economy for the Mercury News since 1999. Before that, he worked for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., for seven years. He is a 1991 graduate of Duke University. He’s also been involved with the Next Newsroom project.

And, O’Brien is known for his “Great Moments in Journalism” comments on Twitter. Here’s a recent one: “More great moments in journalism: Three people at the Mercury News have had their catalytic converters stolen from cars parked in our lots.”

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