April 7, 2017 Last Updated 10:14 am

Veteran technology journalist Walt Mossberg announces he will retire in June

Now 70, Mossberg worked for The Wall Street Journal from 1970 to 2013, becoming the paper’s technology columnist in 1991, founded AllThingsD with Kara Swisher in 2007, and with Swisher launched Recode in 2014

The journalist Walt Mossberg today announced that he would retire in June. Age 70, Mossberg was The Wall Street Journal’s technology columnist from 1991 to 2013, before helping launch Recode with fellow AllThingsD journalist Kara Swisher.

“It was a June day when I began my career as a national journalist,” Mossberg wrote today on The Verge. “I stepped into the Detroit Bureau of The Wall Street Journal and started on what would be a long, varied, rewarding career. I was 23 years old, and the year was 1970. That’s not a typo.”


Photo: Mike Kepka for Recode

Mossberg was already a famous and influential technology columnist when in 2007 he led the launch of the D: All Things Digital conference. The conference was famous for its interviews with Silicon Valley leaders, its founding year bring together Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates for a long, sometimes funny joint interview.

“Over my career, I’ve reinvented myself numerous times,” Mossberg wrote today of his career. “I covered the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA. I wrote about labor wars, trade wars, and real wars. I chronicled a nuclear plant meltdown and the defeat of communism. I co-founded a couple of media businesses.”

In 2013, Dow Jones could not convince Swisher and Mossberg to remain, and off they went to launch Re/code (now simply Recode). The new media company could not stay independent for long, being acquired by Vox Media in May of 2015. Today, tech news is split between The Verge, which concentrates on gadgets and other consumer electronics news, and Recode, which is more business oriented. In an example of the odd relationship between the two sites, Mossberg’s retirement post is on The Verge, yet Recode has splashed it on its home page (it isn’t on the home page of The Verge).

Expect many technology journalists today to express their appreciation for the find and pioneering work Mossberg did over the years. His columns were widely read and respected, well before tech media became a oversaturated field.

Mossberg’s device reviews were highly anticipated, and often dreaded by the manufacturers, and often led to revisions, or admissions of errors.

When Mossberg wrote about the call reception of the new iPhone 4, Apple was forced to accept that its new device needed a revision.

“But, in my tests, network reception was a mixed bag,” Mossberg wrote in an otherwise positive look at the new iPhone in 2010. “Compared with the previous model, the new iPhone dropped marginally fewer calls made in my car, both in Washington and in Boston, and was much louder and clearer over my car’s built-in Bluetooth speaker-phone system.”

“Yet, in some places where the signal was relatively weak, the iPhone 4 showed no bars, or fewer bars than its predecessor. Apple says that this is a bug it plans to fix, and that it has to do with the way the bars are presented, not the actual ability to make a call. And, in fact, in nearly all of these cases, the iPhone 4 was able to place calls despite the lack of bars.”

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