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It's not exactly news that people leave the The New York Observer for a pasture that's greener — as in more greenbacks. But usually those leaving are the smart, glib young writers who arrived just a year or two earler as smart, glib young college grads. Ben Smith, on the other hand, who announced on the Observer's Politicker blog today that he's leaving the paper for the Daily News, is a comparative old fart, 29 years old and with a media career elsewhere before he arrived at the pink paper. But, then, at that ripe old age he's also got a wife and two kids to feed, and so we imagine that greenback issue was even more pressing than usual.

Smith says he'll be moving crosstown — considerably crosstown, and also considerably downmarket, though also considerably up-circ — next Wednesday, and that he'll be writing a weekly politics column and launching a politics blog for the paper, which we imagine will complete directly with The Politicker. Observer editor Peter Kaplan, we hear, is already hot on the trail of a replacement for his lead politics writer. We tried to get one of the two to deliver an Observerish pithy comment on the news, but both provided merely standard HR platitudes. Oh well.

Ben Smith News [The Politicker/NYO]