New York Times Makes Major Changes in Editorial Leadership

Executive editor Dean Baquet eliminates managing editor role, promotes four senior editors

Last Updated: September 24, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

The New York Times has overhauled its leadership structure, retiring the managing editor title in favor of four deputy executive editors, who were all promoted from within.

The restructuring was announced to staff in a memo from executive editor Dean Baquet on Wednesday morning. “As I thought about the kind of leadership The New York Times will need in these next crucial two or three years … it became clear that our traditional masthead structure no longer works,” he said.

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The biggest change to the leadership structure is the elimination of the managing editor title, traditionally the second-most senior position in the New York Times newsroom. Instead, Baquet has promoted four senior editors to the title of deputy executive editors, each with different duties.

Susan Chira will lead the news report on all platforms on a daily basis for web and print, and work with Baquet on longer-term news decisions. Janet Elder will manage talent, operations and budget and Matt Purdy will oversee investigations and enterprise coverage.

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Ian Fisher, the final new deputy executive editor, will be in charge of digital operations. His new team will consist of Steve Duenes in the role of assistant editor and Clifford J. Levy as an associate editor.

In a role equal to the deputy executive editors, Tom Bodkin has been named creative drector. “He continues to play a large role on the business side as well, but I’ve also asked him to be a bigger part of the strategic life of the newsroom, to help us think hard about what a print Times should be in the digital age even as we all reimagine our digital report,” said Baquet.

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The final editor added to the Times’ new masthead is Joseph Kahn, who will become an assistant editor for International. Also announced via the memo was the imminent retirement of Lawrence Ingrassia, who will leave his post as a deputy managing editor and the paper’s former Business Day editor at the end of the year.

“In constructing this masthead I aimed to have it reflect the newsroom-wide values and functions that are important at this moment,” concluded Baquet. “Just as our business has been rapidly changing, our newsroom must be more nimble. Therefore I anticipate the masthead will be more fluid than in the past. This will be true for my term and, I expect, for that of future executive editors.

“Some people will be given masthead jobs so they can grow and get a broader view of The Times. I anticipate people moving on and off the masthead as our needs evolve, and it is important that these moves not be seen as measures of who is up and who is down, but rather as appointments aimed at keeping our journalism and our entire operation as vibrant as possible.”

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