TIMES TAPS KOBLIN: The New York Times has hired media and sports writer John Koblin as its next Styles reporter.
The job, which was previously held by Eric Wilson for nine years, has primarily been a fashion-centric one that, in the past, included reviews of New York and European collections. With no fashion reporting experience, Koblin won’t be writing reviews, WWD has learned. That duty will likely continue to be handled primarily by Cathy Horyn and the International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes, although Times officials did not comment on their plans.
Koblin, best known in industry circles for his media reporting, joins the Times from Deadspin, a sports blog where he focused primarily on writing news and features on ESPN and sports media. Prior to his one-year stint at Deadspin, Koblin spent two years reporting on media for WWD. Before WWD, Koblin served as a media and real estate reporter at The New York Observer.
During his four-year tenure at the Observer, Koblin worked with current NYT Styles reporter Alexandra Jacobs, who, among other fashion-related stories, contributes to the paper’s “Critical Shopper” column.
While Koblin’s fashion reporting is lacking, he has paid a close eye to NYT staff movements over the years and broke the story in WWD when former Times executive editor Bill Keller stepped down from that position to become a columnist for the paper.
Koblin will report to Styles editor Stuart Emmrich. He’ll join the paper “early next year,” according to an internal memo obtained by WWD.
In the memo, Emmrich wrote, “Over the past month, I have had several long conversations with John about our fashion coverage — discussing in detail how he might have approached some of our news stories differently, what other angles he might have pursued, what he would have done to try to raise them to the level of A1 — and in each case I have come away with the same reaction: total excitement at the prospect of having him on the Styles staff.”
Koblin will depart Deadspin on Jan. 6.