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NY Times to Make Business Columnist New Washington Bureau Chief

David Leonhardt’s appointment is the first major personnel decision for newly minted executive editor Jill Abramson

David Leonhardt, a Pulitzer-Prize winning business columnist for the New York Times, will be announced as the newspaper’s new Washington bureau chief, the Huffington Post is reporting.

Leonhardt will replace Dean Baquet, who will soon ascend to the managing editor post under new executive editor Jill Abramson. The announcement would mark the first major personnel decision for Abramson and Baquet since they were announced as new top editors.

The position is one that has often been held by one of the Times’ most famous and influential journalists, from James "Scotty" Reston to Max Frankel. Each one has been a gatekeeper of sorts in the Washington community.

Though Leonhardt has been widely lauded as a writer, he does not satisfy many of the criteria usually required for the post. He lacks management experience and has written  little about politics or national security.

Many of the other rumored names in contention are more traditional picks, like deputy bureau chiefs Dick Stevenson and Rebecca Corbett. Perhaps Leonhardt’s economic background was deemed more important given the national preoccupation on that subject.