Matt Cooper to TPM

This just in from the Department of Good Gets: Josh Marshall has snagged Matt Cooper, currently of Portfolio and formerly of Time and Newsweek (as well as many other mags), to edit Talking Points Memo’s new Washington-focused blog, TPMDC.

As Cooper writes in his first post, which doubles as an inauguration of sorts for the work of TPM’s DC “bureau,”

I’ve been a fan of Josh Marshall and the site for a long time and it’s nice to be a part of it. I continue to write for Conde Nast Portfolio, where I’m a contributing editor, as well as its website, and other publications. But I’ll be doing a lot here, trying to make sense of this new era and what it means…. Like so many people I’m deeply interested in two questions: How will Barack Obama solidify his political power and pass his agenda and will it work to address both the financial crisis and the country’s longer-term problems. I don’t know what the answers are but hopefully in a dialogue with you, the readers of TPM and its off shoots, and through reporting and thinking hard we’ll begin to get them. It’s good to be with you.

First thoughts: the Cooper-Marshall union seems to be the kind of symbiotically charged coup that we saw with the HuffPost’s snagging of Tom Edsall: the Web-based news operation validated by the name-brand, traditional-media-oriented journalist; that journalist, in turn, validated by the name-brand, non-traditional outlet. The organization gets clout; the journalist gets freedom (and the distinction of being “forward thinking” in his approach to journalism). If Cooper’s hiring at TPM ends up being that kind of win-win…it could actually end up as a win-win-win. Because there’s another group that tends to benefit from this merging of traditional and new media: readers.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.