Inside Move: Paper pushers

Times' arts overhaul gets some fresh ink

Show me the money.

The moss-covered plan to overhaul the New York Times’ arts and cultural coverage has finally headed upstairs for the Gray Lady’s number crunchers to consider.

Implementation of the white paper was thrown into question when its chief architect, former culture topper Adam Moss, abruptly bolted to join New York magazine. (Other authors included culture editor Steve Erlanger and associate editor Frank Rich).

These are dicey times for new exec editor Bill Keller. Something must be done if more exits are to be stopped, considering the unhappiness among the ranks, some of whom say the Times has lost its way when it comes to covering the arts.

The white paper calls for a near razing of the paper’s current model for such coverage. One specific casualty would be Saturday’s Arts & Ideas section, which has long been ripped by critics.

More generally, the plan would allow for more timely coverage and — gasp — even breaking stories. It also would have reporters covering specific areas, i.e., film, TV, theater or music, reporting to one editor instead of different section editors.

It’s a great responsibility holding up your publication as the country’s final arbiter of arts and cultural reporting. Now, it’s time to sign the check.

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