BACK AT THE TIMES: The ongoing nonsaga of the new, New York Times rolls on. The latest major voluntary staff change will be that Charles “Chip” McGrath is stepping down from his post as the editor of The Book Review to become a full-time writer at the paper, confirming a WWD report on Sept. 26.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

McGrath will not be covering a specific beat. Instead, he’s getting a plum writer-at-large position in which he can file stories for a number of the paper’s sections, among them sports, the culture desk and the Times Magazine. An announcement is expected to come Friday or Monday. Industry observers are placing bets on a number of names to replace McGrath at the Book Review — among them, frequent contributor Laura Miller; Alex Star, the Boston Globe’s Sunday Ideas editor (he is the former editor of Lingua Franca), and Adam Begley, the books editor of the New York Observer. But, sources inside the Times said unanimously that cultural czar Adam Moss has not yet picked a successor and the coming announcement will simply spell out McGrath’s new role. — Jacob Bernstein

NAMING NAMES: Since the supermarket tabloid The Globe decided to reveal the name of Kobe Bryant’s alleged rape victim, Bonnie Fuller has been attacked by nearly every female editor in the business, who labeled the decision tasteless and lacking in integrity. Last week, at a panel for Steve Rattner’s Four Square Conference, fellow panelist Norman Pearlstine joined in the barrage of criticism. “I think there is no reason for rape to be stigmatized or for a woman to feel shame if she has been raped,” Fuller said, according to two attendees.

“No. The shame is yours!” responded Pearlstine, who told her that as editorial director, he would have killed the story.

“We disagree,” Fuller responded.

But sources familiar with the situation say it may not even be Fuller’s fault. In fact, most think that these days, she’s busy as can be with Star Magazine and doesn’t really have oversight of The Globe, despite her title as editorial director of American Media. (A spokesman for AMI disagreed, insisting she saw the story and let it run.)

“There is one person who runs this company and his name is David Pecker,” said an insider. — J.B.

NO LONGER US: Back at Fuller’s former stomping ground, Us Weekly, editor in chief Janice Min has decided to say goodbye to one of Fuller’s longtime aides. Veronica Hinman, who came to Us with Fuller after a stint under her at Glamour, was let go this week. Melissa Green, the magazine’s senior beauty editor, will get Hinman’s title of beauty director. “Janice was doing a little Bonnie Fuller house cleaning,” said one source. — J.B.

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