The New York Times has eliminated the position of managing editor, the newspaper's second-highest journalistic position, in a bid to delegate editorial authority. It also created the position of deputy executive editor.
Executive Editor Dean Baquet, who had been the managing editor before he was promoted to executive editor when Jill Abramson was fired in May, announced the change Wednesday in a memo to staffers.
“We have too much work to do,” Baquet wrote, “to have all the decisions made by a couple of editors in a corner office. Our goals are to get more readers, to continue to stretch the boundaries of story-telling in a mobile world that allows us to do things we never imagined, to take on ever larger targets with our investigative reporting, and to expand our ability to cover a world in turmoil.”
Baquet also promoted senior editors Susan Chira, Janet Elder, Matt Purdy and Ian Fisher to the newly created position of deputy executive editor. Each will oversee a different, specific area. Design director Tom Bodkin was promoted to the creative director position, which is equal in rank to the four deputy executive editor positions.
Baquet said he expected the masthead to be more “fluid” in the future, and he instructed his staffers to see future masthead changes not in terms of hierarchical shifts “but rather as evolving as the paper’s needs evolve."
“As I thought about the kind of leadership The New York Times will need,” Baquet wrote in the memo, whose transcript was posted on New York Observer, "it became clear that our traditional masthead structure no longer works.”