David Carr, New York Times Media Columnist, Dead at 58

Veteran journalist died at the newspaper’s offices on Thursday

David Carr, who wrote about entertainment and business for The New York Times, collapsed Thursday at the newspaper’s offices. He was rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital where he died at age 58, the paper reported.

Editor Dean Baquet broke the news to The Times’ staff in a memo:

Dear Colleagues,
I am sorry to have to tell you that our wonderful, esteemed colleague David Carr died suddenly tonight after collapsing in the newsroom. A group of us were with his wife, Jill, and one of his daughters, at the hospital. His daughter Erin said he was special, and that he was.
He was the finest media reporter of his generation, a remarkable and funny man who was one of the leaders of our newsroom. He was our biggest champion, and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world, and by people who love journalism.

Carr’s sudden death comes as a shock to the media world, as he has been one of the most prominent voices covering the American cultural landscape. He was an ever-present commentator on the fast-changing world of media, and was on CNN just this week commenting on the fall of NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and other current affairs.

Carr had struggled with addiction and his 2008 memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” detailed his past experiences with cocaine addiction.

Hours before his death, Carr hosted a TimeTalks conversation on “Citizenfour” Thursday with director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald. Watch the video below:

According to a hastily-written Times obituary, Carr joined the paper in 2002 as a business reporter covering the magazine publishing industry. His column appeared in the Monday business section and focused on media issues, including print, digital, film, radio and television.

Carr was born in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota. He worked as an editor at the Twin Cities Reader and for many years wrote about media for the Washington City Paper in Washington, D.C. He was also a contributing writer for The Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine and in 2000 he became the media writer for the short-lived Inside.com, a website focusing on the business of entertainment and publishing.

But it was late in life at The New York Times where Carr rose to be one of the leading observers of the media landscape, with humor and biting insight on display in his Sunday column. Among other things, Carr exposed a culture of sexism and frat house antics at The Chicago Tribune.