David Carr is handing over his valise as the Carpetbagger, the New York Times’ blog that covers the machinations of awards season. The blog will relaunch Dec. 1 under lead writer Melena Ryzik.

Carr will remain a general assignment reporter and will maintain his media column, which he describes as his “day job.” That column was one factor in his decision to pass the baton. The scribe feared that if he devoted the next four months to tracking the kudos race and ignored the quickly changing world of publishing, he’d return to a beat that he wouldn’t recognize.

“If I was preoccupied by the Oscars, I would be coming back to a significantly different landscape,” he said. “I think end of 2009-early 2010 is going to be an important time in terms of deal flow and platform flow.”

Another factor was simple burnout, much of which he attributes to “Slumdog Millionaire.”

“Last year was a really hard year,” he said. ” ‘Slumdog’ went out front and stayed there, and I had four months to swan about nothing.”

Carr admits he’s going to miss some perks. “I love my fake friends,” he sighed. “Penelope Cruz air-kissing you, even when she’s not exactly sure who you are, has to have an effect on you.”

As an example of the changing media landscape, his home base the New York Times on Monday announced plans to eliminate 100 newsroom jobs by the end of the year. The paper hopes to reach that figure, which would account for about 8% of the newsroom, through voluntary buyouts, but acknowledged that it may have to resort to layoffs.