For some weeks now, New York Times editors have been pinch-hitting in the role of weekend editor, ever since the paper announced Marty Gottlieb was moving on in a role to help work out the paper’s relationship with the IHT.
Now they’ve got their full-time replacement: Alison Mitchell. She’s been promoted to associate managing editor. (We’ve sent out an e-mail to a spokeswoman to find out if that means she’ll be on the masthead. We’ll update you when we find out.)
For now, here’s the memo:
Marty Gottlieb’s assignment to shepherd the closer integration of The Times and IHT left us with a big opening. The mock front page marking Marty’s move put it bluntly: "WEEKENDS ADRIFT."
Adrift no more. Beginning now, weekends will be moored to the copious talent and great judgement of Alison Mitchell.
Like Marty, Alison has reporting instincts sharpened and toughened on the streets of New York, covering Albany (for Newsday) and (for us) Queens and Brooklyn, the election and mayoralty of Rudy Giuliani, and the first World Trade Center bombing. She was a foreign correspondent (Moscow, for Newsday) and a splendid Washington correspondent (White House, Capitol Hill, several presidential campaigns) before moving to New York as deputy national editor. As education editor since 2006, she has provided our readers hard-hitting enterprise and sophisticated trend stories on a subject that is, and has to be, a Times franchise. We will be searching out new leadership to sustain the excellent work of our education reporting team.
Alison’s political chops will, of course, come in handy in this most vibrant of political seasons. Her competitive drive and eye for graceful
writing will assure that the Sunday and Monday papers retain the sense of urgency and ambition Marty achieved.
The promotion to weekend editor carries the rank of associate managing editor — and the end of a weekend social life.
UPDATE: The answer is yes, she is a masthead editor, but her name will not appear in the box on the editorial page. A spokeswoman for the paper writes, "Alison Mitchell does become part of the Masthead group at The Times, which is a larger group than appears in the Masthead box on the Editorial page; so while her name won’t appear in the box, she is part of the group that takes part in Masthead deliberations and the inner council that runs the newsroom."