COOP IS FLYING: The first major loss for newly installed Time managing editor Rick Stengel came on Thursday night, when Matt Cooper turned in his resignation to take a job as Washington editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. (WWD.com first reported the news Friday morning; Condé Nast Publications also owns WWD.)

“They approached me a while ago about it,” Cooper said Friday afternoon. “I’ve had a great time at Time and they’ve been particularly good to me during my legal troubles in the last year, but the chance to join a start-up was irresistible.”

Cooper was named political editor of time.com in April. Prior to that, he was a White House correspondent and deputy Washington bureau chief for Time, his home since 1999.

Last year, he became caught up in the investigation into the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, after he initially refused to testify before a grand jury, then complied when the Supreme Court refused to review the case.

He starts at Portfolio in September.

Asked about how Washington might be covered in the still-inchoate magazine, Cooper said: “I think you’re going to have to think broadly about it, where money and culture and politics intersect, beyond campaign and finance and lobbying, and the way business in Washington is usually perceived.”

That’s the most we’ve heard about Portfolio yet.
Sara James

LAT PULLED: Elizabeth Spiers has hired a blogger away from her former boss, Nick Denton.

David Lat, who has been cowriting Denton’s Washington political blog, Wonkette.com, since January, is leaving to join Spiers at her new company to develop a law blog, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Lat was formerly an assistant U.S. attorney and the anonymous author of the blog Underneath Their Robes until Jeffrey Toobin outed him in a Talk of the Town piece in The New Yorker late last year.

Spiers declined to comment, but sources said Lat has given notice at Gawker Media. He evidently wanted to return to writing about law, and is said to have approached Spiers about launching a companion site to her financial blog, Dealbreaker.com.

This story first appeared in the June 26, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Next up: Spiers and her partners, Carter Burden and Justin Smith, are considering adding a fashion blog to the mix. Parties interested in blogging about the merits of Christian Louboutin heels versus Manolo Blahniks would be wise to contact them directly.
S.J.

MORE FOR MORRISON: So much for the speculation that Cathy Horyn might leave The New York Times to replace Michael Roberts at The New Yorker. Susan Morrison, who was already editing the title’s two annual style issues, has been appointed fashion editor, succeeding Roberts, who left in April to join Vanity Fair. Morrison, a veteran of Vogue, Spy and the New York Observer, will continue to serve as articles editor while overseeing the magazine’s fashion and design coverage — such as this week’s story on Cristobal Balenciaga, by Judith Thurman.
Jeff Bercovici

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