A ROLLING SEARCH: Three weeks ago, The New York Times announced Adam Moss, editor of the Sunday magazine, would be moving up to a role as an assistant managing editor, overseeing several of the paper’s departments — among them, the Sunday Styles, the Arts and Leisure section and the magazine.

The side story, of course, is who will take over as the editor of the magazine. So far, the internal candidate whose name surfaces most often is Gerald Marzorati, the magazine’s current editorial director.

This story first appeared in the August 26, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

But his candidacy is not a lock, said several sources, and the Times has been conducting a search inside and outside the building, looking at candidates who might fit the bill.

As far as other internal contenders go, there has been a lot of talk about Jonathan Landman, who became a voice of the insurrection against former executive editor Howell Raines. But don’t bet your house on that happening. Two sources have said Moss is cool to the idea and would prefer someone with magazine experience.

Katherine Bouton, a deputy editor from the magazine, has also, according to several sources, asked to be considered for the job, but is not thought to be at the top of the list.

Looking outside, sources said The Times has spoken with Henry Finder, the editorial director of The New Yorker, but most say he’s a better editor than manager (he’s notoriously quiet) and think the talks didn’t get that far. Kurt Anderson also has been approached, sources said, and there are indications Slate editor Jacob Weisberg is being considered, though Weisberg denied having been contacted when reached for comment.

So which way is it likely to go?

One source put it this way: “Bill [Keller, the Times’ new executive editor,] wants a lot of people to be called, so Adam is calling people. Adam’s choice is Gerry [Marzorati], that was his choice a week ago,” but, “one can never underestimate Adam’s wish to be one with the company.” And, said the source, “Adam would like someone who would listen to him, which is why Tina Brown is not going to be the editor.”

Too bad. We kind of liked that idea. — Jacob Bernstein

THE NEED TO FEED: This summer’s magazine-poaching wars have spilled over into their favorite lunch spots. Michael’s regulars used to the smiling, bespectacled face of maître d’ Michael Bailey greeting them at the entrance will have to head over to the just-opened Lever House for the same effect. Co-owner John McDonald, who happens to run City magazine as well, poached Bailey in part to win the all-important battle of lunch, which starts Wednesday at the restaurant.

McDonald has a $5 million restaurant in a landmark building on his hands, and the Park Avenue dinner rush alone won’t see it into the black. The Four Seasons is across the street and Michael’s isn’t that far away. Is Bailey a Bonnie Fuller-esque hire who can crack the code and cause the media lunch scene to decamp en masse for Lever House the way they ditched the Royalton’s 44 for Michael’s?

“I couldn’t tell you why [the scene] sort of died at 44 and went to Michael’s,” McDonald said, adding, “44 itself went through a lot of changes,” including revolving management by celeb restaurateurs Jeffrey Chodorow and Brian McNally.

“The key lesson from that, in my opinion,” McDonald said, “is that you have to have the right spot, and they,” meaning the media mafia, “don’t want to see changes. They want their table, they want the food they’re used to getting and someone who can see to their special needs.” In this case, Bailey. “He is someone who knows that little world, or big world, as it may be.” — Greg Lindsay

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