The wave of veteran journalists fleeing print media jobs for stock options at ill-defined Internet startups continues to gain momentum. Following stints as a Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent in Paris, Berlin and Moscow and four years as L.A. bureau chief, Peter Gumbel is leaving the paper to become editor in chief of the new eCompanies venture, Business.com.
ECompanies, the Internet service created by Earthlink co-founder Sky Dayton and former Disney Net chief Jake Winebaum, made waves last November after spending $7.5 million to purchase the domain name Business.com.
How will they recoup that investment? Though Winebaum declined to say what product Business.com will offer, he told Daily Variety that it will be at “the epicenter of the revolution” brought on as business-to-business transactions move onto the ‘Net in massive numbers.
With Gumbel on board and other senior staff members to be named next week, Winebaum said the site will be ready to launch later this year.
“One of the big, big stories this year is the rise of the ‘Net and how it’s changing so much in the business world,” Gumbel said. “Having witnessed the revolution in the Soviet Union, I know one when I see one.”