Matt Doig named Newsday investigations director

The author of “the best journalism job ad ever” has a new job.

Matt Doig

Matt Doig is leaving the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to become director of investigations at Newsday.

In March of 2011, he wrote a job ad that went viral. Doig said the journalist he was looking for to join the Herald-Tribune’s investigative team has “cursed out an editor, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.” (Read the full ad here.)

Here’s this morning’s Herald-Tribune memo announcing Doig’s new job:

Connelly, Mike
Date: May 8, 2012 8:45:43 AM EDT
Subject: Matt Doig’s next job

I have sad news: Matt Doig is leaving the Herald-Tribune to be director of investigations at Newsday.

With Matt, Newsday gets a rare set of talents. He is a terrific investigative reporter. He has been a Pulitzer finalist twice – in local reporting for Broken Trust and in investigative reporting for flipping fraud – as well as having won assorted national awards from IRE, Scripps-Howard and ASNE. He is an exceptional writer; between investigations, Matt has often done what were essentially magazine pieces – the Esdale story, the Walker murders and Mary Catherine Hampton. And he has been a great collaborator – often with Chris Davis, of course, but also with Tiffany Lankes on Broken Trust, Michael Braga on flipping fraud and Anthony Cormier on Unfit for Duty.

I have heard Matt say several times that when he started in the Charlotte bureau 11 years ago, he expected to be at the Herald-Tribune for a few years then return to Miami, where he grew up. It has been great for our readers, our journalism and our newsroom that we have been able to keep him for so long.

Matt’s last day will be June 1. I have already begun searching for his successor. If you know someone we should consider, please let me know. Meanwhile, details tk on a proper send-off for Doig.

UPDATE: I asked Doig if he wanted to tell Romenesko readers about his job change. Here’s what he sent:

I’ve been spoiled for the last decade by some of the finest people a journalist could hope to work with. Back when I was still a rookie here, my editor, Chris Davis, told me to stop covering my beat so I could chase my first investigative project. Our former EE, Janet Coates, had the bright idea to stick Chris and I together to form the paper’s first Iteam. Mike Connelly came in after Janet and, during an era of cut backs, kept telling us that our next project should be more ambitious than the last. I always had access to talented colleagues who made me look smarter than I actually am. And the person at the center of our journalism universe, Diane McFarlin, is simply the best publisher in the country. These are some of my favorite people on the planet, and everything I’ve been able to accomplish is due in large part to them.

It was going to take something special to lure me away from what I feel is one of the best jobs in journalism. And frankly, I was skeptical about Newsday when I left for the interview and ready to adopt a bad attitude the moment I heard someone pitch the need for quick, weak, half-assed, pseudo-investigations. But it was just the opposite. The place is dripping with ambition. Deb Henley and Rich Rosen were salivating as we talked potential projects. And they have legit investigative talent already in the building, including Sandra Peddie, who won the Goldsmith Award not too long ago. So when Deb and Rich said they wanted me doing for them what I was able to do in Sarasota, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.

Anybody interested in my soon-to-be-vacant job should contact Mike Connelly, who will be posting his own — much more G-Rated — job ad sometime soon.

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