New York Times' Amy O’Leary to join Upworthy as editorial director
New York Times deputy international editor Amy O'Leary is leaving for a new job as editorial director of the viral content site Upworthy, starting Feb. 9.
O'Leary replaces Upworthy's founding editorial director, Sara Critchfield, who left in August.
O'Leary's departure is a significant loss for the Times. She co-authored the much-cited Times Innovation Report, and was also one of the digital deputies tasked with bringing Times journalism to a larger online audience.
The Times international desk announced O'Leary's departure in a Tuesday morning note provided to Capital.
"Since joining International in the fall, she helped us think in new ways about the centrality of the digital report, new forms of storytelling, and how to better serve readers on multiple platforms," wrote foreign editor Joe Kahn, international managing editor Michael Slackman and deputy international editor Lydia Polgreen.
O'Leary reflected on her departure in the staff note announcing her departure.
"The last year, in particular, has seen incredible progress in the paper's digital transformation," she said. "Although I am leaving now, I feel confident knowing how strong the team is here who will anchor the next leg of the work ahead. I can't wait to see all the good work to come, as The Times becomes a digital powerhouse, in addition to a journalistic one."
In a note to Upworthy staff, published online, co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley wrote: "Ultimately, when Upworthy’s been successful, it’s because the stories, videos, and graphics we share strike a deep chord. Amy’s going to lead the charge in making that chord even more resonant, and help us move from a few powerful chords to a full song."
O'Leary joined the Times as an audio producer in 2007, after working as a public radio producer.
When announcing her appointment as a digital deputy for the international section this fall, Kahn, Slackman and Polgreen called O'Leary "one of the most determined digital missionaries at The Times."