Texas twist on Times Magazine editor search

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A New York Times Magazine cover. ()
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Add another name to the list of potential contenders for the editorship of The New York Times Magazine.

Two insiders told Capital they've heard that the Times has been looking at a candidate from Texas Monthly. And a source in Austin, where the monthly regional magazine is based, said word on the street is that Texas Monthly editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein has been under consideration for the job.

The source said Silverstein met with Times executive editor Jill Abramson while she was in town recently for SXSW Interactive.

Abramson confirmed through a spokeswoman that she did in fact meet with Silverstein. She also met with Silverstein's predecessor, Evan Smith, who is now C.E.O. and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, a non-profit digital journalism organization.

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"She makes it a practice of meeting with great journalists when she travels to the cities where they are based," said the spokeswoman, Eileen Murphy.

Reached by phone, Silverstein declined to comment. As did Times managing editor Dean Baquet, who is spearheading a revamp of the magazine along with Deborah Needleman, editor of sister title T.

The editor's chair has been empty since Hugo Lindgren left at the end of last year. There are at least three internal candidates, including deputy Times Magazine editors Joel Lovell and Lauren Kern, who have been the most senior staffers on the masthead since Lindgren's departure. There's speculation that one or both of them might leave if the job goes to an outsider.

As Capital first reported last month, New York magazine editorial director Jared Hohlt has also been in the running.

We're told the search is entering the home stretch but that there is no frontrunner. It's unclear whether Silverstein or Hohlt are in active discussions with Times brass about the position. (Hohlt has not returned previous requests for comment.)

Silverstein would bring a bit of Southwestern swagger to a position that has traditionally been held by New York media insiders.

At the same time, Texas Monthly has significant cachet with the Manhattan media crowd. It's a perennial finalist at the National Magazine Awards, having won two of the 11 it's been nominated for since Silverstein was named editor in 2008.