Baratunde Thurston, supervising producer for digital expansion at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, has announced he is leaving the show as of Friday.
Formerly digital director at The Onion and founder of Cultivated Wit, Thurston joined The Daily Show last year and spearheaded the growth of its social reach and digital presence. In a post published on Medium announcing his departure, Thurston wrote he is leaving the show to focus on other aspects of his comedy career.
“This has probably been the hardest job I’ve ever had, and while the work has been challenging, it isn’t the only challenge I’m up to,” he wrote. “I love bending technology to people’s creative wills. I also love being able to express myself directly to people, and now I’m ready to get back on stage, on the mic, and on screens of all sizes.”
Thurston also noted his team’s accomplishments over the last year, especially in light of the 2016 presidential election.
“We published thousands of items to the internet, generating millions of likes and faves and hearts and shares and shouts and digipressions, as the people formerly known as the audience continued their great migration away from proprietary set-top boxes and 20th century business models, toward an even greater unknown,” he wrote.
Thurston wrote that his new agenda includes more standup and TV, “eating dinner before 9:30 p.m.,” and opening his mail. He’s the second high profile member of the Daily Show production team to depart this year, following executive producer Hillary Kun, who left in March.