Who is taking NYT buyouts?

December 1, 2014
Category: Uncategorized

Dec. 1 was New York Times’ employees’ deadline to apply for one of the 100 buyouts the company offered.

Sports reporter Barry Bearak confirms to Poynter he’s applied for the buyout. Edward Wyatt in the Times’ Washington, D.C., bureau tells Poynter he’s applied. Ron Wertheimer, on the Culture desk, says he is retiring as part of the buyout. Fellow Culture deskers David DeWitt, Christopher Phillips and Ray Cormier say they have applied.

David Geary, the late news desk editor for the past decade, applied and will leave on Dec. 19. Don Hecker, an editor in the Times newsroom’s administration unit (and a cofounder of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute) is taking the buyout.

Assistant business editor Jack Lynch says we can add him to our list.

Interactive news desk editor Lexi Mainland tells Poynter she is taking the buyout, as is photographer Fred R. Conrad.

Deputy National editor Ethan Bronner tells Poynter he is taking the buyout.

Media reporter Christine Haughney announced on Twitter Tuesday that she’s taking a buyout.

Fern Turkowitz, the assistant to the sports editor, tells Poynter she is leaving.

“After 25 incomparable years with The Times, including a three-year stint in Paris as The Herald Trib’s business news slot, I am hanging up my editing shoes,” Tim Hilchey tells Poynter.

Nadia Taha, a senior staff editor at The Upshot, is taking the buyout. She plans to join PETA’s Investigative, Legal and Corporate division in Los Angeles, she tells Poynter in an email. She’ll do media outreach for the group’s “serious corporate and undercover work,” she writes, including “the psychological abuse of monkeys in NIH-funded experiments and the doping of racehorses by one of the country’s top trainers.” Taha says she’s “looking forward to trying to uncover the aspects of these issues that matter to newsrooms and their audiences. In that sense it’s not all that different from my work in news presentation at The Times.”

Obituary writer Douglas Martin has taken the buyout, he tells Poynter.

Marjorie Connelly, editor of news surveys: “After 30+ years querying the public for @nytimes, I’m taking the buyout.”

Advertising columnist Stuart Elliott writes on Facebook that he decided to take the buyout: “It is scary, and exciting, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me all these years in tackling this demanding job. (Those who didn’t help, you know who you are.)”

Editor and reporter Maria Newman tells Poynter she’s taking the buyout.

Sasha Koren, one of the Times’ digital pioneers, announced the big move on Twitter. “Not much remains of how things were done in those early years of The New York Times on the Web,” Koren wrote colleagues. “What does continue is utterly Timesian: the collective commitment to diving in wholeheartedly; to imagining what could be built given the landscape of the time; to approaching the work creatively and seriously; to hashing out every detail in the name of getting every aspect right; and to prizing collaboration and integrity.”

Assistant editor on the News desk William Dicke confirms he’s taking the buyout.

Labor reporter Steven Greenhouse sent a really good note to staffers to announce his buyout, which, what the heck, let’s run the whole thing:

I’m writing to let you know that I’ve decided to take the buyout after 31 years at the Times. This has been one of the toughest decisions of my life. I love the Times, I love my job, and I love my colleagues here. And I love that every single day of the year people in this building try their hardest to put out the greatest newspaper (and news website) in the world. No bull, it has truly been an honor to work with all of you.

I recently turned 63, and I had always thought I’d stay at the Times until age 68 or so. And I had even told my wife that I’d be happy to stay until 75, if the Times gave me four months off a year. But the Times made a generous buyout offer that was hard to refuse. That and the fact that two good friends — both also 63, both terrific journalists — died over the past few months really pushed me to take this step and begin my next chapter.

Also, I realize that I need to slow down, at least somewhat. I work too damn hard — that’s my fault, not the NYT’s. I’m one of those jerks who is entitled to five weeks’ vacation, but who usually takes just two weeks. Now maybe I’ll finally take that trip to India or China or South Africa or Machu Picchu — places I’ve longed to go.

As for my next chapter, I plan to write another book for Knopf — yes, about workers — and I hope to continue writing some for the NYT, but this time as a humble freelancer. I also might do some teaching. And my wife and I will finally get to spend that full month in Provence that we’ve always dreamed of. I also look forward to seeing what else comes my way.

It’s been a pleasure — and an honor.

Stay in touch.

And keep on keeping on with your wonderful journalism – and holding all those damn folks accountable.

Hugs all around,


Critic at large Edward Rothstein says he’s taking the buyout and will become critic at large at The Wall Street Journal. He sends along “my version of an NYT obit”:

Edward Rothstein, who has been Critic at Large at The New York Times since 1995, and also served as the paper’s Chief Music Critic as part of a 26-year-career, is taking the buyout from The New York Times. Beginning in January he will be Critic at Large at the Wall Street Journal where he will continue to write about non-art museums and will explore the worlds of books, the arts, and ideas in book reviews, essays and other pieces, expanding the work he began in his Connections columns at the New York Times.

In 2013, in tribute to his Times museum criticism, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

He has won three in-house Publisher’s Awards at the paper for his writing. The latest citation, in 2006, read: “For being culture’s resident scholar, with a dazzling range….Ed straddles the worlds of the scholarly and the worldly, the cultural and the political. Brilliantly.”

He has also won a Guggenheim Fellowship and two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his music criticism in The New Republic. He is the author of “Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics” and co-author of “Visions of Utopia.”

Aside from writing for the Wall Street Journal, his post-Times work will include essays in Mosaic Magazine (http://mosaicmagazine.com/) and two books for Farrar Straus & Giroux.

Times TV reporter Bill Carter says he’s taking the buyout after an “agonizing and very, very wrenching decision” but that the buyout offer was very compelling. “I’m not gonna stop working,” he said. “I’m going to look for another job somewhere.” Carter said he loves his job and leaving it is difficult. “I obviously hope to continue covering television in some fashion,” he said.

Deputy National editor Charles Strum confirms he took a buyout.

Deputy News editor Joan Nassivera says she took a buyout and sends along the following thoughts:

I have been fortunate beyond measure to have had 26 fascinating years at The Times and 12 before that at The Daily News. I don’t know too many people who can say that for nearly 40 years they woke up every day anxious to get to work. I can. And that is how I always wanted this phase to end.

I’ve gotten to toil with many of the best reporters and editors in the business, far too many to name, and I marvel daily at what I’ve learned from them.

I’m not retiring. I am resetting some priorities. I watched this business kill my former husband, Lou Parajos, an outstanding editor who shared my passion for it and taught me more than he ever realized. I promised our daughter I’d try to stay around a while longer.

Individuals and companies have approached me about writing and editing for them. I want to actually immerse myself in social media and audience development rather than having them as two more items on an already too-lengthy to-do list. I hope to become more active in the Table 4 Writers Foundation, which I helped to start in memory of Elaine Kaufman, the restaurateur and patron saint of journalists, someone whom I was honored to call my friend, mentor and second mom.

Finally, I want to look on with joy and pride as the next generation of Times women and Times men, and the incomparable Sulzberger family, continue to produce the finest Web and newspaper coverage around the globe.

First Assistant Picture Editor Nancy Weinstock took the buyout. Here’s her Facebook note:

Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 11.43.45 AM

I’ll add other names only if I’m able to confirm them with the people involved, or if they post anything publicly. My email is abeaujon@poynter.org and my phone number is 703-594-1103.

Capital has verified a bunch of other names, including editorial board member David Firestone, Science Times editor David Corcoran and D.C.-based editor/correspondent Brian Knowlton.


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