IJR appears to be doing some fall cleaning. The kind that involves bleach, not hand soap.
Leadership has parted ways with Jon Nicosia, the site’s managing editor of content who was hired away from Mediaite in late March. The news came suddenly and was quite a surprise to those close to him, The Mirror has learned.
Nicosia’s LinkedIn account lists him as a former employee at IJR.
Less than a month ago, the right-leaning pub canned Benny Johnson, who was previously fired by BuzzFeed for plagiarism. His termination was odd in that the founder leaked the news to outside media even before informing staff.
Nicosia, a Benny Johnson loyalist, has always been something of a media bad boy.
While he gained respect at Mediaite for his workhorse mentality and climbed the professional ladder in his employment there, his existence in the political media ecosystem always came with baggage.
In 2014, Politico revealed that Jon Nicosia wasn’t even Jon Nicosia– he was really Zachary Hildreth. And if only a fake name was the strangest thing about him. He also has a rap sheet — in 1989 there was larceny; in 2002, bank fraud. And yeah, there was prison time.
Nonetheless, when Nicosia left Mediaite in March for IJR, founder Dan Abrams gave him a glowing farewell. “Jon’s dedication to Mediaite over the past seven years has been critical in helping to grow it into one of the largest sites in America,” he told Politico.
But the larceny, bank fraud and prison time aren’t even the weirdest acts in Nicosia’s repertoire. He also pretended to be a trauma surgeon and often dispelled medical advice to his coworkers at Mediaite. Fortunately, he never preformed any emergency surgeries on his colleagues.
Back in March, IJR founder Alex Skatell sang a much different tune about Nicosia. “Jon’s proven to be a great talent in the newsroom finding content and video clips that drive the conversation forward,” he told Politico at the time.
The Mirror sought comment from Skatell on the matter as well as IJR Publicist Matt Manda.
Nicosia’s most recent act on Twitter was retweeting President Trump.
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
When I asked a former coworker of Nicosia’s why IJR let Nicosia go, the journalist replied, “No clue other than I’m sure his pathological lying and undermining finally caught up with him.”