Staff Shuffling at the New York Times

Adam Nagourney headed to L.A., new “On Language” columnist and more

With the smoke having clearedat least for now – following the paper’s newsroom cuts late last year, there are a slew of staffing changes on tap at the New York Times.

The paper announced on Friday that Ben Zimmer, a linguist and lexicographer, will take over as the “On Language” columnist for the New York Times magazine. Zimmer succeeds the late William Safire, who created and wrote the column for 30 years. Safire died last fall.

Zimmer’s certainly got the chops. Via his bio:

“Mr. Zimmer is the executive producer of and, online destinations for learners and lovers of language. He is the former editor of American dictionaries at Oxford University Press and is a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary.”

The Times also announced that David Kocieniewski, a reporter for the paper’s metro desk since 2005, is moving to the business section to cover taxes.

Via business editor Larry Ingrassia’s memo:

“We are expecting that our new David K. will bring the same insight and enterprise to covering the tax system and how it works – as well as how it doesn’t – as did the original David Cay, whose stellar reporting on taxes helped define how this critical beat should be covered. Covering the nation’s tax system – who pays, who doesn’t, who evades (legally and illegally), how the I.R.S. works – is especially important now, at a time when national, state and municipal government find their expenses rising and their revenue pinched.”

The biggest staffing move, however, is one that has yet to be confirmed: according to Politico, Adam Nagourney, the Times’ star political reporter, is giving up his beat to take over the paper’s West Coast bureau.

I asked the Times to confirm but have yet to hear back.

According to the report, Nagourney, chief political correspondent for the New York Times since 2002, will take the reins from current L.A. bureau chief Jennifer

Steinhauer, who is moving to Washington this summer to cover Congress.