Sam Dolnick, Member of the Sulzberger-Ochs Family, Joining Times Newsroom

A. G. Sulzberger is about to get a new friend on the third floor of the Times newsroom!

The Observer has learned that Sam Dolnick, a reporter for the Associated Press and grandnephew to former Times publisher Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, is joining the metro desk at The Times. His first day is September 14, a Times spokeswoman said.

Mr. Dolnick most recently had been working in New Delhi for the Associated Press. His stories with New Delhi datelines stretch back to 2007.

Back in 2001, when he was cutting his teeth as a reporter, he was an intern for The Village Voice‘s investigative writer Wayne Barrett.

“He’s really a sweet guy,” said Mr. Barrett. “He came to me as a raw reporter. It was at the very start of his reporting career, but he really had the right instincts.”

Mr. Barrett said he wasn’t aware of his relation to the Sulzberger-Ochs family until Mr. Dolnick’s internship was winding down. He never wanted to be judged by his bloodline, Mr. Barrett said.

“He had an engaging interview style as a young guy—he could get people to talk to him,” said Mr. Barrett. “Some young people can’t get on the phone because they feel like they have to be an expert before they talk to someone. He understood instinctively you go with what you know and the person on the other end doesn’t expect you to be an expert.”

Mr. Barrett said he remembered Mr. Dolnick left the internship and worked for The Staten Island Advance, where he had bylines.

We’ve taken a small look at his writing, and he’s got a flair for style! Especially for the AP:

NEW DELHI — While the grill man stirred the glowing coals and the bread man rolled balls of dough, Akram Khan, the waiter, watched the traffic rumble down the pocked road.

Soon, crowds would start arriving at this sidewalk kebab stand, families in expensive cars and partygoers fizzy with drink.

Fizzy with drink! Alan Feuer, watch your wallet!

Mr. Dolnick will be joining his cousin, A.G. Sulzberger, son of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, on the metro desk. A.G. Sulzberger started at the paper in February, and has been reporting and writing under the glare of an awfully bright spotlight ever since.

Mr. Dolnick is the son of Lynn Dolnick, a former director of the Smithsonian Zoo; his younger brother, Ben, is a fiction writer, according to a New York magazine piece about the Sulzberger-Ochs family.

Mr. Dolnick’s stint at the AP reflects the early career of Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Mr. Sulzberger worked in the London bureau of the AP from 1976 to 1978 before he joined The Times‘ Washington bureau.

Come the middle of September, two family members will be trawling the hallways of The Times‘ third floor, maybe even competing on stories! Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said that there are no other family members who work in The Times‘ newsroom.


Sam Dolnick, Member of the Sulzberger-Ochs Family, Joining Times Newsroom