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CONTENT AND COMMERCE: As e-commerce sites continue to back their way into the content business, the Gilt Groupe has hired Ben Widdicombe, the founder of the New York Daily News’ “Gatecrasher” gossip column and former TMZ executive editor, as editor in chief of Unlisted, a new editorial companion to Gilt City, the company’s lifestyle and travel e-shop.
Gilt City president Nathan Richardson hired Widdicombe, who was working on AOL’s Stylist blog until the company eliminated all freelancers following the Huffington Post acquisition, over drinks at the Soho House on April 22. He started from scratch, putting Unlisted together on April 25 — the site didn’t have a name — and a beta version went live April 27. “One of the nice things about working at an environment like Gilt is you don’t think about it, you just do it,” Widdicombe said. Programmers at Gilt are putting the finishing touches on the site, which will launch officially on Wednesday at cityunlisted.com.
Working out of offices on the fifth floor of One Madison, Widdicombe will have a team of six, including two photo editors and a copy editor, and a network of freelancers at his disposal. He said that, aside from a daily sponsored post, the site will be editorially independent. “It’s designed primarily to be a city guide that shows off the best of New York,” Widdicombe said. “We won’t be running negative reviews of anything,” he added, “whether or not it’s related to Gilt.”
— Zeke Turner