Is Wired.com's Danger Room blog done? It sure looks like it.
All four of the national security blog's core contributors — founder Noah Shachtman, Spencer Ackerman, David Axe and Robert Beckhuser — have exited within the first two weeks of June, updates have been nearly non-existent despite the tremendous amount of recent national security news, and Wired will only say it's discussing the future of the blog.
Wired.com editor-in-chief Mark McClusky denies that the site intends to end Danger Room, telling TheWrap: "We're going to be thoughtful about how we move forward and assess what's best for the Wired community, and the best way to continue our amazing security coverage."
But David Axe thinks Wired didn't seem particularly interested in keeping Danger Room's existing staff on after Ackerman and Shachtman left, saying "Wired didn't try hard enough to keep me."
Wired has yet to name any of the departed staffer's replacements or announce its future plans for the blog. The usually prolific Danger Room has posted all of two articles in June so far – one of which was Shachtman's announcement, leaving Danger Room readers to wonder when and if their blog will ever return to form.
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"Spencer and I just got great job offers, so we decided to take 'em," Shachtman tells TheWrap about the close proximity of his and Ackerman's departures: "I was really sad to leave [Danger Room], and Wired. But after six-plus years, I wanted to try something different. And so with a really heavy heart, I said goodbye to my baby."
Meanwhile, Evan Hansen, Wired.com's longtime editor-in-chief until last February, grabbed Axe and contributor Robert Beckhusen for Medium, where he is now a senior editor. Hansen says Medium will fully supports Axe and Beckhusen, "first rate reporters who broke a lot of news for DR for many years while I was EIC at Wired.com, and we're thrilled to have them on board at Medium."
Just one year ago, the New York Times lauded Danger Room's success – it had thousands of Twitter followers, 10 percent of Wired.com's traffic (19 million monthly unique visitors, according to Wired.com), the Pentagon's ear, some big scoops and a National Magazine Award under its belt.
Exactly one year later, on June 10, founder Noah Shachtman posted a good-bye message. After six years at Wired, he was moving on to an executive editor position at Foreign Policy.
Shachtman was the last of Danger Room's core writing team to announce his departure: Spencer Ackerman moved on to Guardian as its national security editor just in time to contribute to its huge NSA scoop, while Axe and Beckhusen brought their "War is Boring" blog to Medium.
When Wired was fully behind it, Danger Room reported from the front lines of Afghanistan and broke several stories about government wrongdoings and malfeasance. It would be a shame to lose that voice because Wired and Wired.com's new editors-in-chief don't know what to do with it.