‘Times’ dismantles environment desk as editor shakeup looms; the ‘Fox Boner Alert’

The New York Times building. (wallyg via flickr)
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As it finalizes its latest round of newsroom buyouts, The New York Times is simultaneously dismantling its environment desk and eliminating the positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor.

Inside Climate News reports that the desk's two editors and seven reporters will be reassigned to other areas of the paper and that the decision, according to managing editor Dean Baquet, "was prompted by the shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting" and the diffusion of environmental news as opposed to budgetary concerns:

"It wasn't a decision we made lightly," said Dean Baquet, the paper's managing editor for news operations. "To both me and Jill [Abramson, executive editor], coverage of the environment is what separates the New York Times from other papers. We devote a lot of resources to it, now more than ever. We have not lost any desire for environmental coverage. This is purely a structural matter."

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Realignments like this aren't unheard of at the Times, a place where a journalist might be restaurant critic one day and national editor the next, or where the Styles editor can seamlessly transition over to the campaign trail.

Last summer, the paper of record implemented a similar decentralization of its education desk (or "pod," in Times parlance). And the education pod has in fact come and gone over the years, so it wouldn't be surprising if the environment desk reemerged at some point down the line as well.

UPDATE: In other Times news, Joe Hagan reports that not enough editors have so far formally declared their intentions to accept buyouts and that "there are said to be ongoing and heated negotiations — 'begging and pleading,' says one source — with several top editors as Abramson prepares to shrink the very top of the masthead."

(Disclosure: I've recently completed two freelance assignments for the Times.)

On Capital...

'Daily News' photo editor sues paper for age discrimination

'Beautiful Mind' author Sylvia Nasar taking Columbia University to court for just under $1M.

In other news...

John Cook is replacing A.J. Daulerio as editor of Gawker. [New York/Daily Intel]

Criticism of Time's Chris Christie "Boss" cover; Hearst is eyeing more mag launches. [New York Post]

Mass layoffs are reportedly coming to Time Inc. [New York Post]

The Wall Street Journal is doubling down on scoops. [C.J.R./The Audit]

The New York Post pulled its fake Anthony Weiner story. [The New York Observer]

CNET's CBS conflict. [BuzzFeed]

Grantland's looking to New York for inspiration. [Ad Age]

Condos are the new newsrooms. [Bloomberg]

Quote of the day...

The second ESPN stops being so dumb, sure, sports media won’t be nearly as fun a beat. ... I used to cover places like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast and I can tell you ESPN is much dumber, and plays fast-and-loose with fairly standard journalistic practices far more, than any of those other media organizations.
John Koblin

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On TV ...

Larry King talks Piers Morgan:

Glenn Beck on getting dissed by Current TV:

Or is it "Qur'rent TV"? Jon Stewart on the "first Fox [News] boner alert of 2013":

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Coming full circle from the Michael Wolff era, Adweek is reviving the Brandweek brand. A spokesperson writes:

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