Dan Barry’s New [em]Times[/em] Column: Covering the Lower 48!

First John Tierney, and now this! In early 2007, fellow New York Times columnist Dan Barry will be giving up his “About New York” metro column to join the paper’s national desk.

In the yet-to-be-named column, Barry will be “taking his voice and his notebook beyond the Hudson to 47 other states,” according to a press release. Alaska and Hawaii need not apply.

Full release is after the jump.

Date: Nov 14, 2006
Subject: From Suzanne Daley and David Firestone: A New Column for Dan Barry

To the Staff:

In his memoir, Dan Barry describes his fear, when he first walked past the personalized landfills in the Times’ newsroom in 1995, that he might not make it past his six-month probationary period. Somehow he squeaked by, and for the next 11 years, he distinguished himself and his newspaper on some of the most important assignments that Metro and National had to offer, from the wreckage of Flight 800 to the squalor of Room 9, from the salt wash of Staten Island to the fog of Ground Zero and the dark waters of Katrina. Since 2003, he has the been the steward of the “About New York” column, taking readers along a remarkable journey through the sounds and the smells, the sages and cranks, the pain and hidden beauty of the five boroughs. He has done so in the tradition of the paper’s finest columnists, with an unmistakable voice of wry grace and rueful passion.

Now it is time to extend his abilities to a new frontier. Dan is about to inaugurate a new weekly column for the National Desk, taking his voice and his notebook beyond the Hudson to 47 other states. The column, still unnamed, will in essence be a national version of “About New York,” and those who read of his journeys through the floodlands earlier this year know the power of that combination. Dan will burrow under news stories and unearth tales in wheat-field counties, cul-de-sacs and inner cities, and we hope he will soon become intimately familiar with the nation’s air traffic system.

This is a new venture for Dan and for us, and in many ways it will be defined as it progresses. But we know of no one better to provide that definition, illuminating far corners of the country as he has done so well for our hometown. The column will begin in the new year.

Please join us in giving Dan your best wishes and story ideas.

Suzanne Daley
David Firestone