Lydia Polgreen is leaving The New York Times to become editor in chief of The Huffington Post, succeeding HuffPo founding editor in chief Arianna Huffington, who left the company in August to focus on Thrive, her sleep and wellness company. Since Huffington’s departure, the role of editor in chief has been filled by a committee of top editors and chief executive officer Jared Grusd.
In an interview with The Huffington Post revealing the hire, Polgreen described the site as a “truly great global, progressive news platform” and called her new role a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“I feel like we’re living in a moment right now where media has to fundamentally rethink its position vis-à-vis power,” she told HuffPo. “I think that the election of Donald Trump and the basic difficulty that the media had in anticipating it tells us something really profound about the echo chamber in which we live, the ways in which journalism has failed to reach beyond its own inner limits.”
Polgreen has worked at the Times since 2002, most recently as an associate masthead editor and editorial director of NYT Global, overseeing what the Times described as its “ambitious global expansion project.” During her tenure, Polgreen was a foreign correspondent based in Africa and Asia, the chief of bureaus in West Africa, South Asia and Johannesburg, and the deputy international editor.
“This is not about leaving the Times. This is about seeing a really big opportunity that I frankly didn’t go looking for but came to me, and wanting to grasp it,” she told the Times.
“Lydia Polgreen is a highly creative journalist,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times added. “She will do great things and I have to admit to a certain pride that The Huffington Post saw the value of hiring one of the Times’ great young stars.”
The New York Times plans to hire somebody to replace Polgreen as editorial director of NYT Global, although there is no on timing at this point, according to a spokesperson for the Times.