AOL HuffPo Loses Jai Singh To Yahoo Media Network; Will Be Editor In Chief

Jai Singh, whose hiring from CNET Networks helped The Huffington Post gain journalism credibility, is moving out. Next stop: Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Media Network as Editor in Chief. Singh has been managing editor of the Huffington Post Media Group since the acquisition by AOL (NYSE: AOL). At Yahoo, he will be responsible for increasing original content and performance across all platforms — and for all of YMN’s leading brands, not only Yahoo News. He’ll report to Mickie Rosen, SVP of Yahoo! Media Network.

Yahoo wrapped the announcement in details of its performance during the polar-opposite high-profile events of the past few days — the royal wedding and the killing of Osama bin Laden. Singh’s hiring is described as an “effort to extend and accelerate the company’s leadership positions and further develop a unique and distinct voice across its brands.”

At HPMG, Singh was responsible for day-to-day news and editorial operations. His role at Yahoo sounds more strategic and certainly puts him in a different position in terms of overall responsibility than at AOL, where Arianna Huffington is editor-in-chief. Not all editors will report to him directly but he will be responsible for the overall editorial tone. Singh was at CNET for 12 years, leaving in 2008 after creating, building other new brands and dealing with numerous corporate changes, including the merger with Ziff-Davis.

After a break, he joined HuffPo in mid-2009, moving to New York and staying for roughly two years. He will be moving west again with Sunnyvale as his base, but will work in Santa Monica and New York as well.

Update: Nico Pitney, currently executive editor, will move up to managing editor. The fenor from HPMG, including a late-night note to the staff from Huffington, is how nice it is for Singh to go back to the west coast and Pitney’s promotion means business as usual.

But Pitney, while he has been working closely with Singh, comes from a very different background. He joined HuffPo as politics editor, moving to roles as national editor and Washington bureau chief before executive editor. Pitney came out of the think tank ranks, where he was deputy research director at the Center for American Progress and managing editor of ThinkProgress. He has HuffPo sensibilities but not the same depth of daily news experience.