Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast's Washington bureau chief, has left the company, editor-in-chief Tina Brown announced on Twitter Thursday. Daily Beast spokesman Andrew Kirk confirmed the news to TPM and forwarded Brown's memo to staff on the news:
“The Daily Beast and Howard Kurtz have parted company. Under the direction of our newly named political director John Avlon we have added new momentum and authority to our Washington bureau with columnists such as Jon Favreau, Joshua Dubois and Stuart Stevens joining our outstanding DC team of Eleanor Clift, Daniel Klaidman, Michael Tomasky, Eli Lake, David Frum and Michelle Cottle - giving us one of the best politics teams in the business which was instrumental in this week’s Webby win for Best News site.”
Politico first reported news of Kurtz's ouster. Kurtz, a media critic for The Daily Beast and other news organizations, came under fire on Wednesday over a blog post in which he wrote that NBA player Jason Collins, who recently came out as gay, failed to mention he was once engaged. Collins did, in fact, disclose that detail in his announcement, and The Daily Beast has retracted the piece.
"The piece contained several errors, resulting in a misleading characterization of NBA player Collins and the story he co-wrote in Sports Illustrated in which he came out as gay," The Daily Beast wrote in its retraction, adding that the site "sincerely regrets Kurtz’s error—and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement."