The New York Times announced on Wednesday a return to its leadership team in the newsroom with the appointment of its Subway editor, Clifford J. Levy.
Levy, 53, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has been running the subway counter since 2018. Previously, he was deputy editor-in-chief of the Times’ online platforms and worked as head of the Moscow office and investigative reporter.
In a message to the newsroom on Wednesday, Dean Baquet, the editor-in-chief, and Joseph Kahn, the editor-in-chief said Mr. Levy would temporarily advise the audio division, home of the podcast “The Daily,” before moving on to a broader role. The audio division is overseen by Sam Dolnick, a deputy editor-in-chief and member of the Sulzberger family who control The Times, and Lisa Tobin.
Mr. Levy’s promotion comes a month after The Times released a correction for “Caliphate,” a 12-part audio series designed to shed light on the Islamic State. In an editor’s note, The Times said the podcast had too much faith in the misrepresentation or exaggeration of one of its main topics, Shehroze Chaudhry, a Canadian who claimed to have participated in atrocities by the Islamic State. On the day the note was published, Mr. Baquet described the problems with “Caliphate” as “institutional failure” and said his mistakes should not be blamed on “a reporter”.
“I or someone else should have done the same type of test because it was a big, ambitious piece of journalism,” Baquet said in a December interview with Michael Barbaro, the host of “The Daily”. “And I did not do this type of test, nor did my senior officers have extensive experience reviewing investigative reports.”
In their note on Wednesday, Mr. Baquet and Mr. Kahn said, “Cliff will spend the coming weeks learning the rhythms of ‘The Daily’ and the wider audio team, then helping Sam, Lisa and the Masthead better integrate with the daily Operation of the audio department in the wider newsroom. “
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Jan. 27, 2021, 11:46 ET
“One of his priorities is the development of new procedures for checking ambitious audio series,” the communication continues.
“The Daily” has become a central part of The Times, with four million listeners every weekday.
Times editors who hold the title of assistant editor-in-chief or assistant editor-in-chief are at the top of the editorial board, referred to by the editorial staff as senior masthead editors because their names appear along with the publisher at the top of page A2 of the print edition. AG Sulzberger and Mr. Baquet.
The number of names on Page 2 has increased in the last few months as 64-year-old Baquet approaches retirement age. Traditionally, Top Times editors have made high-profile posts before they are 66.
Carolyn Ryan, who heads the newsroom’s recruiting, strategy and high-profile journalism, became deputy editor-in-chief in October. The promotion followed her stations in charge of the newspaper’s political coverage, the subway division, and the Washington office.
With the return of Mr Levy to the crew, the newspaper has five assistant senior editors. The others are Rebecca Blumenstein, Steve Duenes and Matthew Purdy.
Mr. Kahn, the managing editor, ranks second after Mr. Baquet in the Times imprint. In December, national editor Marc Lacey was promoted to deputy editor-in-chief and one of seven journalists to hold the title. In the new role, Mr. Lacey is responsible for the live reporting.
While Mr. Levy was in charge of subway coverage, The Times won a Pulitzer Prize for a series by Brian M. Rosenthal that exposed predatory loans and other problems in the New York taxi industry. Mr Baquet and Mr Kahn said in their note on Wednesday that the search for a new subway editor was underway.