Fact is, PR has always been an attractive, cushier, higher-paid alternative to daily news reporting. In Frankel’s case, after he was recently let go from PaidContent. From Thompson’s write-up:
He worked on various beats at Variety from 2001 until he was laid off (along with me and many others) during the recession of 2009. Sharon Waxman brought him in as news editor and senior writer for TheWrap, where he endured until the end of 2011, leaving to become west coast senior editor for PaidContent, where he covered the entertainment media/tech beat. It seemed a perfect fit–until PaidContent was taken over by GigaOM, which had its own set of writers.