Dan Primack departs Fortune’s “Term Sheet” for new content startup from Politico founders


The high-profile columnist has been the go-to blog for VC news and insights

Dan Primack, one of the best-known columnists writing about the ins and outs of the venture business, is leaving his high-profile gig at Fortune magazine to join a new content startup from the co-founders of Politico.

Primack’s “Term Sheet” has become a must-read over the years in Silicon Valley, chronicling how investments are made via a mix of breaking news, industry factoids and sharp insights.

Now he’ll be one the the more prominent hires for a new effort by former Politico CEO Jim VandeHei and columnist Mike Allen, who founded that online publication in 2007. It soon became a key read for the inside-the-Beltway crowd, competing with the Washington Post where the pair had previously worked.

Allen and VandeHei announced plans to leave earlier this year and have since raised $10 million from investors that include Lerer Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective and NBCUniversal for their new media startup. (Full disclosure: The media giant is also a big investor in Recode parent Vox Media.)

The online publication is slated to launch in January.

Primack said in an interview yesterday that he had an itch to be part of a new venture.

“I have been at Fortune six years and am now interested in getting in on the ground floor of something new,” he said, noting that Allen’s first overture went to his spam folder. “It was Mike’s persistence that got me to join.”

Primack said it was not fully determined what he would cover, but it would be at the intersection of tech and business — wait a minute, that’s my job! — and might include writing, events and more.

And while he is likely to be covering more than venture, he said he has yet to tire of the topic. “I always get asked why I enjoy covering VCs, but it’s like covering sports or politics to a varying degree, and the challenge is to try to figure out how to tell the story of what happened.”

Looking back at his work, Primack said that he’s struck by how little the investment game has changed. “For an industry about innovation and changing the status quo, as an industry it does not change very much,” he said. “Very few people upend it.”

We’ll see if Primack can do some upending at his new job — VandeHei certainly thinks so. “Dan is the rare reporter with authentic, deep expertise who can — and wants to — shape how important, demanding readers think about deals and the tech space on a daily basis,” he said. “We hope to build our new enterprise around people just like him.”

It is unclear who will take over for Primack when he leaves in a few weeks, but Fortune owns the brand.

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