11:50 am Jul. 16, 20121
After several months of searching for a new public editor, The New York Times has hired Buffalo News editor and vice president Margaret M. Sullivan for the paper's internal watchdog role, making her the fifth person and first woman to hold the title.
The Times has been on the hunt for a new public editor since May, when Arthur Brisbane, whose columns were not always well-received inside the paper or out, revealed that he would be stepping down come September. The search for his replacement was said to be focusing on digital-savvy candidates, and several writers have suggested that it might serve the paper well to select a woman for the job.
“Margaret has exactly the right experience to assume this critical role for us at this time," said executive editor Jill Abramson in a statement. "She has an impressive 32-year background in print journalism where she has distinguished herself as a reporter, columnist, editor and manager. And critically for us at this time, she has shown adeptness at embracing new platforms and engaging and interacting with readers in real time online, in print and in person.”
Sullivan's job description will be more web-oriented than those of her predecessors. Aside from writing columns for the print edition, she will be expected to drive her ongoing "conversation" about Times coverage on a blog and web page at nytimes.com, while also being active on social media.
Sullivan, whose been editor of The Buffalo News for the past 12 years, begins on Sept. 1
There's more in the release below:
NEW YORK, July 16, 2012 – The New York Times announced today that Margaret M. Sullivan, currently editor and vice president of The Buffalo News, will succeed Arthur S. Brisbane as public editor on September 1, 2012. Ms. Sullivan is the fifth public editor appointed by The Times.
The role of the public editor is to represent readers and respond to their concerns, critique Times journalism and increase transparency and understanding about how the institution operates. With the vast changes in journalism in recent years, the new public editor will seek new avenues for that mission. Ms. Sullivan will continue to write a print column, but she will focus on a more active online role: as the initiator, orchestrator and moderator of an ongoing conversation about The Times’s journalism. That conversation will center on a blog and Web page on NYTimes.com, along with an active social media presence.
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, said, “Margaret has exactly the right experience to assume this critical role for us at this time. She has an impressive 32-year background in print journalism where she has distinguished herself as a reporter, columnist, editor and manager. And critically for us at this time, she has shown adeptness at embracing new platforms and engaging and interacting with readers in real time online, in print and in person.”
Ms. Sullivan has served as editor of The Buffalo News for the past 12 years, where she supervised the editorial operations of the largest newspaper in upstate New York along with the region’s leading news Web site. She began her career at the paper in 1980 as a reporter and metro columnist and subsequently was assistant city editor, assistant managing editor for features and managing editor, before being named editor in 1999.
Ms. Sullivan is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.S.J. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
The public editor will remain an independent voice, working outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newsroom. Like public editors before her, Ms. Sullivan will report to the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
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