The New York Times looked high and low for a potential successor to the popular media column once helmed by journalist David Carr. Editors flirted with the idea of hiring a marquee name from Vanity Fair or NPR.
Instead, their focus has turned inside their own offices.
Jim Rutenberg, a Times veteran who covered media earlier in his career at the media outlet, will pen the column, which will appear Mondays in the business section, according to a memo sent to staffers Tuesday by Dean Baquet and Dean Murphy, the executive editor and business editor, respectively of the Times.
“Our hunt for David’s successor has been exhaustive, and we were privileged to have had extraordinary candidates from both inside and outside The Times,” the editors said in their memo. “Jim brings to the job a passion for the story, a track record in covering the industry and the experienced eye of an astute observer.”
Carr passed away in February of last year. His column was celebrated for its insight as well as his gimlet-eye view and clever way of turning a phrase. Editors were said to have considered everyone from Sarah Ellison of Vanity Fair to David Folkenflik of NPR to another internal candidate, Jonathan Mahler.
Rutenberg joined the Times in 2000 from The New York Observer, and covered TV and the media industry in his first role there. Since that time, his Times career has taken him to Washington, D.C. and to a role as a correspondent at the New York Times Magazine. He has in recent months turned in a profile of Megyn Kelly at Fox News Channel and articles on the Supreme Court’s nullification of the Voting Rights Act.
In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Rutenberg called the new position “daunting.”