UPDATE: The Times has announced the news. || The appointment is “a bold first move” for incoming Times executive editor Jill Abramson and one that puts a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on the upper management track, writes Michael Calderone.
The choice of David Leonhardt is surprising given that the top economics writer hasn’t checked some of the boxes one might expect for a D.C. bureau chief, from national security reporting to being steeped in national politics. For that reason, Times staffers didn’t consider Leonhardt a contender early on.
But Abramson recently gave several indications that Leonhardt is just type of journalist she wanted for the job.
Leonhardt doesn’t have management experience, but he’s considered rising star in the the newsroom and, according to Calderone, is “immensely talented, engaged in issues, and, perhaps most importantly for his new role, very well-liked by staff.” Politico’s Keach Hagey was the first to report the news of Leonhardt’s expected promotion.