Ted Casablanca MIA in New E! Online Redesign

"The Awful Truth" columnist departs after nearly two decades

Ted Casablanca, longtime journalist and gossip columnist for E! Online, has ended his column, “The Awful Truth."

Casablanca announced the news in a brief post on the E! website, which just rebranded itself with a major redesign.

Though Casablanca, who borrowed his nom de plume from "Valley of the Dolls," originated the column at Premiere magazine, he has been a fixture at E! for almost two decades. He joined E! in 1996 and eventually turned “the Awful Truth” into a daily column, appearing on assorted E! shows as a correspondent and commentator and becoming the first major gossip columnist on the Web.

The column raked through the personal lives of celebrities, from Tom Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman to closeted gay celebrities. He became known for using certain code names for celebrities in his blind items, distracting readers with tales of Toothy Tile.

In his farewell note, Casablanca thanked his readers first and foremost.

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“It’s you barking types who always made me feel gloriously alive, with all you had to say and scream and be so real about,” he wrote. “That community is my life's (professional) work up until now. It has meant more to me than each of you will ever know.

But it really is time to move on.”

Where that is remains to be seen, but his devoted fans will be waiting for their next dose of juicy gossip.

Neither E! nor Casablanca offered any further comment on his departure or whether it was related to the relaunch of the site.

The revamped website shifts away from a blog format and features splashy photos and a modular layout, similar to sites like Yahoo's OMG!