Salon’s Gingras To Oversee Google’s News Products

The other side of the news that Salon CEO Richard Gingras was stepping down is the word that he’ll be taking on a new position overseeing Google’s news products, the executive told 7x7SF. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has confirmed his hiring.

Initial reports suggested that Gingras would be running Google News, but the WSJ reports that he will have a more general role as global head of news products.

Gingras’ last day at Salon is July 8 and his first day at Google is on the 11th. He indicated that a successor would be named soon.

According to the bio on his personal website, Gingras served as a strategic advisor to the executive team at Google “focusing on strategies relating to the evolution of news and television” from 2007-2008.

It’s not clear if Gingras’ hiring by Google means that the the search giant has broader plans for the automated news aggregation service. Since Gingras is more of an entrepreneur than a news editor, the post sounds like a more formal role than the consulting he did before running Salon.

Apart from Salon, Gingras was co-founder, CEO and chairman of Goodmail Systems, which was shuttered in February. He has a long history in media though, having started in television, holding various positions with PBS, KCET/Los Angeles, and NBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) during the 1970’s. But he’s best known now for his role at Salon, which included being one of the early organizers of seed funding for the news site in the mid-1990s.

At Salon, Gingras ushered in significant cuts to expenses, including layoffs. But he also sought to broaden the site from its primary focus on politics and culture to include lifestyle content like a food channel as well as e-commerce to round out its growing, yet narrow ad support. He also attempted to sell the media company as losses were slimmed, but talks with one prospective buyer, aggregation site Newser, never came to fruition.