As Justin Hyde just explained, he's leaving us later this week to head out and claim a stake in the automotive online in-market frontier, and we wish him the best of luck. Justin was an integral part of our team, and we are greater for having him here. He'll be sorely missed but we know he'll do amazing things at Yahoo! Autos — as he creates the new biggest auto blog. But, although we lose one Justin, another Justin rises to join the automotive Wolfpack.

But before we get to that, I want to first take a moment to announce that Matt Hardigree will be shifting over to the now vacant job of Features Editor. Matt's one of the most talented online writers I've ever come across — and I'm very excited that he'll be shifting his prodigious story development talents to help manage more of the big picture car culture stories he excels at, along with more of the site's management duties.

Second, it's my distinct pleasure to announce that Justin Berkowitz will join Jalopnik as our new News Editor — starting on October 31st.

Berkowitz comes to us from Car and Driver, where he has served as Online News Editor and Online Features Editor over his past year snuggling in the cozy embrace of the country's most-popular printed car magazine. While there, he broke dozens of news stories and wrote a monthly column called "What the Headlines Don't Tell You," giving a no-nonsense view into automotive sales. Before joining the world of car caviar wishes and champagne dreams, he worked as a freelance automotive analyst, started and edited a brilliant parody car blog (a site that spawned this post likely to follow me through Google for the rest of my days), appeared as an invited guest commentator on dozens of programs discussing the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, and served alongside the always-colorful Robert Farago as the managing editor of The Truth About Cars.

He's assured us he'll do his best to fill the shoes of our outgoing Justin, and while Berkowitz can't shamelessly, lovably tout his "award-winning" experience, he promises to tack the suffix "Esq." onto his name whenever possible.

Because although Berkowitz describes himself as a "recovering attorney" — and makes sure to bring this up regularly — friends point out that he's spent more time talking about being a lawyer than he has actually practicing law.

And if all that fails to impress you, he'll fall back on his experience driving a Citroën from New York to France with former Jalopnik Features Editor — and Car and Driver's resident Jew-fro enthusiast — Sam Smith. There's at least one thing I'm sure Justin will manage to help bring the number of Jewish editors back up to tie its all-time high of "two" set just one year ago.

Please join me in welcoming Justin Berkowitz to the family.

Photo Credit: Daniel Byrne