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Noah Shachtman hired by Wired after Rolling Stone scandal

The former editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone interfered with a story about a friend's child sex abuse charges, according to NPR.

The former editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone interfered with a story about a friend's child sex abuse charges, according to NPR.

Noah Shachtman, the editor of Rolling Stone, appears in an undated image. (Photo by Christopher Michel via Wikimedia Commons, Graphic by The Desk)

Condé Nast’s technology publication Wired has hired Rolling Stone’s former editor-in-chief who helped conceal serious criminal charges against a colleague two years ago.

On Tuesday, Wired’s Global Editor Katie Drumm said the publication is bringing back Noah Shachtman as a contributing editor, reprising the role he held from 2006 to 2013.

Drumm said Shachtman’s time at Rolling Stone saw him “[lean] hard into scoops and investigations across the entertainment industry, politics, technology and beyond.”

Shachtman earned headlines of his own last year after NPR revealed he interfered with an article that would have revealed serious child sex abuse allegations against his friend, former ABC News producer James Gordon Meek.

Rolling Stone was the first to report a federal law enforcement raid on Meek’s home in April 2022. Government sources told reporter Tatiana Siegel that the raid was connected to an investigation involving child sex abuse — specifically, illegal images of minors that Meek downloaded on his phone and computers.

After learning the details of the raid, Shachtman interfered with Siegel’s story and deleted passages related to the specific criminal allegations against Meek, according to NPR. The story that was ultimately published suggested the raid was tied to Meek’s work as a national security reporter. Siegel later accepted a role at Variety, which is co-owned with Rolling Stone.

The cover-up might have remained hidden from public view had NPR not learned the details of the matter. Despite a blockbuster report that proved Shachtman interfered with the story to protect his friend, he faced no professional repercussions.

Meek entered a guilty plea last July as part of a deal reached with prosecutors. Shachtman left Rolling Stone in February over irreconcilable editorial differences with the magazine’s publisher, Gus Wenner. His last day was March 1.

Shachtman began contributing to Wired as a freelancer in 1998. In 2006, the magazine promoted him to the role of contributing editor, where he helped co-found the technology news platform Danger Room.

Drumm said Shachtman will pitch and write enterprise-level stories and appear as a guest across Wired’s podcasts and newsletters. He will also “end a hand with sourcing, tips, and talent scouting, particularly around our politics coverage in this consequential election year.”

The full note from Katie Drumm on Noah Shachtman’s hiring at Wired is below:

Hi All —

I’m very, very excited to share that the one and only Noah Shachtman is returning to Wired as contributing editor.

Noah was most recently the Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone, which he reinvigorated over two-and-a-half years, leaning hard into scoops and investigations across the entertainment industry, politics, technology, and beyond. He also led the outlet to a Polk Award and its first-ever Emmy nomination. Before that, he was Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Best; under his leadership, the outlet uncovered Rep. Matt Gaetz’s payments to a convicted sex trafficker, broke the news of Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and secret charity, and exposed several of the key players in the plot that eventually led to Donald Trump’s first impeachment.

Of course, he’s not new to Wired: Noah first started writing for Wired.com as a freelancer in 1998. In 2006, he became a contributing editor for the magazine and co-founded and led Wired’s fast-moving, news-breaking national security blog, Danger Room. The site took home the Online Journalism Award for best beat reporting and a National Magazine Award for reporting in digital media. During that run at Wired, Noah also wrote some stellar features, including a deep-dive on the FBI’s investigation into the deadliest biological terror attack in US history, and the story of a 250-year-old code that concealed a secret society.

As a contributing editor for Wired, Noah will pitch and write both features and shorter enterprise pieces. He’ll also be a guest on Wired podcasts and in newsletters, and lend a hand with sourcing, tips, and talent scouting, particularly around our politics coverage in this consequential election year.

Please join me in welcoming Noah, who joins Brendan Koerner, Lauren Smily, Virginia Heffernan, and Samanth Subramanian as beloved members of the WIRED extended cinematic universe.

Best,
Katie

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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