Arthur Gregg Sulzberger will take responsibility for the opinion pages of The New York Times from his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., according to an internal announcement circulated at the company this afternoon, the latest in a series of moves intended to prepare the younger Sulzberger for eventual leadership of The New York Times.
At The New York Times, the editorial page editor reports to the publisher so as to reinforce the divide between the paper’s news and opinion sections. For more than two decades, that’s been the elder Sulzberger. But now, as his son is getting ready to replace him, that’s changing.
“As he did in the newsroom, I expect A.G. to safeguard Times values and standards even as he presses for new voices and new forms of opinion journalism that will help us deepen relationships with our loyal readers and form relationships with new readers,” the note read. “Doing this work means asking hard questions about the old ways of doing things and taking some risks with new ways.”
A.G. Sulzberger was named deputy publisher in October after serving as a masthead editor at the paper. Before that, he was the newspaper’s Kansas City bureau chief and the lead author of The New York Times innovation report, which flagged several areas where the newspaper’s digital journalism was lagging behind its competitors.
Editorial page editor James Bennett will report to A.G. Sulzberger, according to the note. He will work to “diversify and digitize” the section.
Here’s Sulzberger’s full memo:
Core to the mission of The Times is its role in safeguarding certain values and transmitting them from one generation of journalists, and readers, to another.
Among my most important duties as publisher has been to assure that our opinion journalism, and in particular our editorial line, reflects those values: free expression, openness of inquiry, equality of opportunity, and fundamental fairness. At the same time, I’ve understood my role as helping to make sure our values and their expression remain relevant and powerful in our time.
To that end, I am transferring day-to-day responsibility for this role to our deputy publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. The editorial page editor James Bennet, will now report to him.
As you know, A.G. has played a central role in the transformation of our news department in recent years. He’s now eager to support the efforts begun by James, Jim Dao and the rest of the team to diversify and digitize our Opinion report and continually raise its ambitions for informing the national and global conversation. A.G. has already begun this work, getting to know the operation and the journalists who play such an important role in helping our readers understand this fast-changing world.
As he did in the newsroom, I expect A.G. to safeguard Times values and standards even as he presses for new voices and new forms of opinion journalism that will help us deepen relationships with our loyal readers and form relationships with new readers. Doing this work means asking hard questions about the old ways of doing things and taking some risks with new ways. This is a big challenge for A.G., James, and the rest of the Opinion team, and success is key to maintaining the leadership of The Times. I am very excited to see what you all do together.
Working with you has been one of the most fun and fulfilling parts of my job. It’s hard to believe that more than two decades have passed since I was a new publisher selecting two star reporters to be columnists, Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd. They’ve certainly rewarded my confidence — each has a Pulitzer for their remarkable work. And so have all the rest of you, from our best-in-the-business lineup of columnists, the members of our brilliant and brave editorial board, and all of the editors who bring a diversity of outside voices and opinions to our readers every day.
You all have my sincere gratitude and deepest admiration.