The New York Times has long been considered the be-all end-all of newspapers — if not for actual information, then at least as a bastion for journalists. A gig at the Times once indicated that a writer had reached a level of greatness, and the company would be the final stop on a career path paved with journalistic accolades. But, it seems the publication has increasingly become a rest stop on the way to something else, rather than a place to hang one's hat.
Earlier this week, three major players announced they're leaving the Grey Lady's editorial staff: media columnist Brian Stelter (now making his way over to CNN), chief political correspondent Matt Bai (who will join Yahoo! News and will report to former Times editor Megan Liberman), and Sunday Magazine editor-in-chief Hugo Lindgren. Maybe these departures wouldn't be so alarming if Rick Berke hadn't recently left to be executive editor of Politico, and if David Pogue didn't just join Yahoo! to develop a technology portion of their brand.
As the NY Post's Keith J. Kelly notes, there was an era when the Times was "a destination where people generally ended their career" but is now "a pit stop on the path to greater riches outside the Times," suggesting that Jill Abramson is having difficulty keeping high-profile editors and columnists on staff. The journalistic changing of the guard is not a scenario exclusive to the Times, however. While print publications may be losing editors to digital companies, they're also gaining digitally rooted writers to switch up their strictly-print mentality. Indeed, Hearst recently replaced Elle.com's Amina Akhtar and Cosmopolitan's Abby Gardner for Fashionista's Leah Chernikoff and Buzzfeed Fashion's Amy Odell — a major indicator that times are changing (no pun intended).
Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, told the NY Post, "Given the size and strength of our staff (we have a newsroom of more than 1,100), it’s inevitable that some very good people might be recruited to other opportunities in what has become a crowded and complicated media marketplace.” She also noted that Abramson "remains committed to ensuring that our newsroom has the best and strongest mix of journalistic talent." But, when the last stop becomes the revolving door, we have to wonder who will walk through next. (NY Post)