NY Times Names New Editors for Hollywood, TV

Paper shuffles editorial beats

The New York Times is shuffling some of its editors' beats.

Mary Jo Murphy, a veteran of the paper's metro and national desks as well as the Times Co.-owned International Herald Tribune, will take over editing the Times’ Hollywood and publishing coverage.

Craig Hunter, formerly the science desk editor, will now oversee the paper's television, music and advertising coverage.

Meanwhile, two deputy editors and media desk vets, Rick Lyman and Steve Reddicliffe, get new marching orders – Lyman for national coverage, Reddicliffe sports.

Here’s the memo (via FishbowlNY):

Many of you already know Mary Jo from her stints in Metro, National and at the IHT, and many more know her as the most frequent answer to the Al Siegal question, "Great headline. Who?" (Her favorite: "Much Nothing About A Do.") She's spent the past five years as an editor and occasional contributor in Week in Review, where she gained fans throughout the building with her sharp editing, vast general knowledge and wonderful bedside manner.

Mary Jo owes at least some of her store of knowledge to her childhood as an Army-intelligence brat. At 10, her family moved to England, where she was pressed into the service of the U.S. government, acting as a decoy at a bowling alley while her father spied on a Navy officer whose mistress was also sleeping with a Soviet. (Her government dossier reads "very effective as a decoy: as a bowler, not so much.") She worked as a features writer for the Charlottesville Daily Progress before starting her near 20-year career in New York with stints at Travel and Leisure, US Magazine (where she worked with Steve Reddicliffe), The Daily News, The New York Post and New York Newsday. She lives in Long Island, where she is a groupie, possibly the only groupie, for her husband's country rock band. Mary Jo will pick up the reins of our Hollywood and publishing coverage.

Those of you who've attended the Page One meeting in the past couple of years will know Craig Hunter for his unflappable demeanor, sly sense of humor, seemingly endless grasp of all things scientific and, in particular, the day he announced the discovery that Neanderthals had hooked up with humans 50,000 years ago which, in Craig's telling, explained a lot.

Technology made an honest man of Craig, who began his career in the mid-1980s as a reporter at the Bridgeport Post-Telegram, where he worked for seven years before joining the Hartford Courant as an assistant bureau chief in Middletown before stints in the city room and systems. He came to The Times in 1998, working on the technology side, eventually rising to assistant editor in News Technology before becoming an editor on the Science Desk in January 2007. His knowledge of the digital world makes him the perfect midwife for our television, music and advertising coverage — areas that are all being transformed by the computer age. A graduate of the University of New Haven, he lives in Trumbull, has two daughters and, when not making scientific advances understandable to the rest of us, he renovates old houses.