James Bennet, the editor in chief of The Atlantic, will replace Andrew Rosenthal as editorial page editor of The New York Times, the paper announced Monday morning.
The announcement follows a report from POLITICO Media that Bennet was being considered for a “senior newsroom role” at The New York Times that might put him in line to succeed Executive Editor Dean Baquet.
Baquet does not oversee The Times’ editorial and op-ed pages; Bennet will report to publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
Rosenthal, who is 60, will begin to write online columns for The New York Times on a variety of subjects including the upcoming presidential election. Leah Finnegan, a former New York Times staffer who’s now the managing editor of the Web annotation startup Genius, noted that masthead editors at The New York Times are forced to retire at age 65. Finnegan also explained that Rosenthal is the son of Abe Rosenthal, who was editor of The New York Times for more than a decade.
Bennet, like all newspaper editorial page editors, will face the realities of a fragmented marketplace and dramatically increased competition for views and analyses. The Times remains a destination op-ed page for many newsmakers but not in the same fashion as it once was, given an increasingly number of thoughtful digital competitors who are battling in the same arena of political, policy and cultural opinions.
In an announcement, Sulzberger praised Bennet’s “spirit of innovation,” and took note of his earlier tenure at The New York Times. He was Jerusalem bureau chief there, according to The New York Times.
We also knew, or at least hoped, that someday he would return. James is an extraordinary talent, known as much for his journalistic curiosity and judgment as he is for his originality and spirit of innovation. I am so very pleased to welcome him back to The New York Times and look forward to his many contributions to our future success.”
Also on Monday, The Atlantic announced Bob Cohn would become president of The Atlantic, a position that puts him in charge of the magazine’s business and editorial functions. In a release, Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley hailed both Bennet and Cohn.
A first among equals as to extreme talent is Bob Cohn. [Bob and James] have formed a most-remarkable partnership. Now, I have asked Bob to step forward as president over the whole, both the editorial and publishing sides of the house. I don’t know that there is anyone more qualified in magazine publishing than Bob Cohn.”
Bradley and Cohn will lead the search for Bennet’s successor, according to a press release from The Atlantic.
Bennet, a sibling of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, will begin in May.