Trish Hall, deputy editorial page editor at The New York Times, will move to the newsroom to take on a job identifying editorial projects that are likely candidates for sponsorship, according to a newsroom memo from Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Editorial Page Editor Andy Rosenthal.
In her new role, Hall will also scour the newsroom for editorial initiatives that could be appealing to readers and advertisers, “acting, in essence, as a new kind of projects editor looking for mini startups,” Baquet and Rosenthal write.
“This was a hard job to fill, because it requires a particular combination of background, skills and ways of thinking,” Baquet said in a statement. “Trish is a perfect candidate and I’m very excited to have her join us. That we decided to tap one of the top editors at the paper who has served in more than one masthead position is a sign of the importance I attach to the job.”
The memo also identifies Hall as an envoy to the newsroom for the company’s business side, noting that she will work with Meredith Levien, chief revenue officer of The New York Times Company.
Hall’s appointment comes as an increasing amount of newsrooms are spinning off individual projects into standalone brands targeting different segments of advertisers and audiences. The Boston Globe has in recent years developed separate verticals for coverage of Catholicism, startups and biotechnology. At The New York Times, marquee personalities such as columnist Nicholas Kristof, Dealbook founder Andrew Ross Sorkin and NYT Cooking editor Sam Sifton have become brands unto themselves, with associated sections or newsletters.
Hall’s elevation arrives at a period of increased cooperation between The New York Times’ business side and its newsroom. The authors of the New York Times innovation report, which became public last year, called on the paper’s leaders to do away with the “church and state” metaphor that has traditionally defined the wall between the company’s newsroom and advertising divisions.
According to a New York Times spokesperson, Hall will not join the newsroom until her replacement on the opinion side is in place.