'NEW YORK TIMES' NAMES EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Newsroom Veteran Bill Keller Becomes Top Editor
'TIMES' AVOIDS TALK OF JAYSON BLAIR SCANDAL
Joins Other Newspapers at Discussing Dismal Outlook for Year
TOP 'NEW YORK TIMES' EDITORS RESIGN
Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd Are Out in Wake of Blair Scandal
ASSESSING BRAND DAMAGE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES
Jayson Blair Scandal Leaves Gray Lady Reeling
In his new role, Mr. Moss will oversee a hodgepodge of Times soft-news sections, including the daily Arts; the weekly Arts & Leisure, Book Review, Travel, tech section Circuits, Real Estate and Escapes; and sundry special sections. The change goes into effect, Mr. Moss said, once his as-yet-unnamed successor takes the reins at the magazine, which Mr. Moss will oversee in his new role.
'Waited 20 years'
"They waited 20 years for this job," Mr. Moss drolly noted. "They can wait a little longer, if that's what it takes. The magazine needs to be minded."
Mr. Moss said Executive Editor Bill Keller began discussing the new position "as soon as it became clear" that Mr. Keller would replace Howell Raines, who resigned June 5 in the wake of newsroom tumult touched off by the fabricated stories and plagiarism of former reporter Jayson Blair. Mr. Keller was named managing editor July 14.
On July 31, Mr. Keller named Jill Abramson and John M. Geddes managing editors. Ms. Abramson had been the paper's Washington bureau chief, and Mr. Geddes had been deputy managing editor.
Mr. Moss played any potential plans close to the vest. "I'll let you know when I figure that out," following conversations with staffers and editors at the sections he'll oversee, he said. "Broadly speaking, I will say I hope to bring a kind of news urgency to this whole territory, and make sure [cultural coverage is executed] as well as we cover what goes on in Washington" and foreign news.
He said it was "premature" to know if he would hire new staffers.
Mr. Moss, 46, added the title associate managing editor to his portfolio in 2000. He was named editor of the Times magazine in 1998, after serving as its editorial director since 1993. For some years press reports had him shortlisted for every top editorial job opening at high-profile magazines.
Mr. Moss originally spent six months at the Times as a copy boy in 1979, shortly after he graduated from Oberlin College -- an experience which did not necessarily foretell the roles he ended up playing at the paper. "I hated the Times. I hated the whole idea of the place," he said in an Ad Age interview in 2000. "As you know, a copy boy's life is a life of slavery."
"I do not disavow that quote," Mr. Moss said today. Now, he said, "it's a different New York Times."