Times Washington Editor Phillips Out

New York Times Washington editor Kate Phillips, the number-two editor in the bureau, left the position Tuesday, according to a source in the bureau familiar with the matter.

Bureau chief Phil Taubman is scheduled to hold a brown-bag lunch meeting today to address the staff about Phillips’ departure.

“There’s a lot of confusion about what happened,” a bureau member said. “People are upset.”

Phillips was appointed to the position in October 2004, replacing Rick Berke, who moved to New York to become an associate managing editor. Bureau sources said that Phillips had clashed with Taubman in recent months.

According to bureau sources, the Times is seeking to reorganize the bureau, which has taken heat from New York in recent months for falling behind on stories such as the Washington Post‘s expose of “black sites” where the United States keeps detainees abroad.

–Gabriel Sherman