Trip Gabriel is returning to reporting after 12 years as editor of the Times‘ Sunday and Thursday Style sections. He’ll work on education enterprise pieces, according to a memo. Stuart Emmerich, the paper’s Travel editor, is replacing Mr. Gabriel.
Here’s a memo that Bill Keller just sent out:
To the Staff:
Continuing the theme of “If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway:”
Any successful venture is the work of many hands, but the credit for the efflorescence of Sunday Styles and its fashion sibling, Thursday Styles, belongs above all to Trip Gabriel. In an extraordinary twelve-year run at Styles, as overseer, reinventor, creative spark and quality-keeper, Trip has kept those sections fresh and vigorous. That’s no little feat, putting out 100-plus sections a year that explore the realms of fashion, lifestyle, nightlife, recreation, celebrity and just plain fun, and to do it with sophistication and rigorous journalistic standards. He has assembled an extremely talented writing collective — including the best team of fashion writers in the business. In the process, Trip and his colleagues have deepened The Times’s hold on New York City by making us reliable, entertaining chroniclers of how we live and what we aspire to in this capital of style.
For a while now, Trip has talked about returning to his first love, reporting. Connoiseurs of fine feature writing will recall the byline. He broke into The Times in 1986 as a freelancer, and soon became one of those names you looked for in the Sunday Magazine and elsewhere — at first writing vivid accounts of such sports as rock-climbing and the America’s Cup, then delivering incisive profiles of figures as diverse as the painter David Hockney, the superagent Mort Janklow, the disgraced senator Bob Packwood and the runner Carl Lewis. For his next act, Trip will plunge into the world of education, a topic of passionate interest to Times readers, one that animates as many dinner-table conversations as health care and real estate. He will be working on a series of education-related projects with Glenn Kramon, the AME for Enterprise.
We unleash Trip into reporting with the understanding that this is not a departure from editing, but a detour. Anyone with Trip’s gift for leading consistently smart and original coverage will not be gone from editing for long.
To follow this unusually hard act, we have chosen another gifted editor, Stuart Emmrich. Stuart took over the Travel section in 2004 with a mandate to redesign the coverage to compete with a growing coterie of travel magazines. To say the least, he rose to the challenge, adjusting the mix of vicarious pleasure and service, of luxury and budget travel, of favorite haunts and off-the-map exotica, all without diminishing the section’s tradition of great writing and eye-catching photography. He has, in addition, been invaluable in pushing our travel coverage onto the Web.
When he took that assignment, we noted that he combines a newspaper pedigree with a magazine sensibility. He helped launch SmartMoney, and worked at magazines dealing with law, business and parenting. Prior to Travel, he took the Escapes section and transformed it from something of a hodgepodge into a coherent, entertaining guide to weekend getaways. Stuart is a demanding editor, but one people like to work for. We think he is the ideal candidate to step up to the larger undertaking of running the Styles franchise.
These moves take effect at the end of the month.
This leaves us in search of a new Travel editor. Consider that job posted.