Tricia Duryee

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Gone in a Flash: Seattle Tech Bloggers Abruptly Leave Business Journal for All-New GeekWire

After spending the past two and a half years building the Seattle technology news site, TechFlash, Todd Bishop and John Cook have broken ties with the Puget Sound Business Journal and have started a site of their own.

Today, the tech duo launched the all-new GeekWire, after quietly giving notice to the business journal last Thursday.

Cook says he will serve as the co-founder, CEO and Seattle editor focused on covering startups and venture capital, while Bishop, who is co-founder, president and national editor, will be tasked with covering Microsoft, Google, Apple and other publicly held companies.

The two reporters turned entrepreneurs, who were former tech reporters at the Hearst-owned Seattle Post-Intelligencer, are known locally for their solid and consistent startup reporting, and even for the occasional national scoops, such as Bishop’s exclusive interviews with Microsoft’s Robbie Bach and J Allard the day their departures were announced.

The two are also known for bringing the tech community together by hosting an annual awards and other regular tech meet-ups, including one that even BoomTown’s own Kara Swisher attended.

So, why the departure?

Cook said after spending so many years reporting on entrepreneurs, it was time for him to be one.

“We feel like there’s a real need for a tech news source that’s based out of Seattle, rather than Silicon Valley or New York. That’s always been a niche that Todd and I have pursued,” he said.

Cook said they have secured enough funding from an angel investor to get the venture off the ground and to keep both his family and Bishop’s fed.  And, in true startup form, Cook declined to discuss how much capital the two raised or from whom, but said to expect an announcement soon.

The sudden departure of Cook and Bishop from TechFlash leaves the site’s fate a little bit up in the air.

Emory Thomas Jr., the publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal and TechFlash, said he is committed to rebuilding the site after losing its two original employees.

“I’m comfortable with ability to move forward and go beyond where we’ve taken TechFlash today, and I’m not just saying that,” he told us.

In a post announcing their departure, Thomas disclosed that the site was profitable, and said in the interim, the whole PSBJ staff, led by reporter Greg Lamm, will write and edit the blog.

Cook said the entire site was created over the weekend after they gave notice on Thursday with the help of  a number of Seattle-based companies that provided legal advice, web development, design and hosting services.