The New York Times has moved Jim Rutenberg back to the media desk, where he will become the paper’s next media columnist.
Rutenberg, who has held various reporting roles for The Times during his 15-year tenure, takes over the column, left open for nearly a year, following David Carr’s death in February.
Executive editor Dean Baquet and business editor Dean Murphy released a joint memo on Tuesday to staff on their decision to move Rutenberg to media, noting: “He was among the first reporters to recognize the ascendance of Fox News, and helped coin the term ‘the Fox effect’ to describe cable’s tilt to the right. He helped lead the coverage of Dan Rather’s role in a report questioning President [George W.] Bush’s National Guard service that ended the CBS anchor’s career. And early last year, well before Megyn Kelly had become a lightning rod in the Republican debates, he wrote a magazine profile of the Fox News anchor that captured her contentious and winning formula.”
Calling the search for Carr’s successor “exhaustive,” the editors touted Rutenberg’s chops as The New York Times Magazine’s chief political correspondent, the paper’s White House correspondent, City Hall bureau chief, and as a gossip writer for the Daily News and New York Post.
Rutenberg joined the Times in 2000 as a business reporter covering the media beat. Prior to that, he covered television at The New York Observer.
“Jim cut his teeth in media reporting before Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and the iPhone revolutionized the industry. Back in those days, much of the beat was focused on covering the then-mighty traditional broadcast networks — and Jim crushed it,” the memo said, noting that Rutenberg nabbed scoops that had “network and cable news executives scrambling.”
More recently, Rutenberg worked on the paper’s magazine writing political features, including its “Disenfranchised” series, which “chronicled the campaign that led to the Supreme Court’s nullification of the Voting Rights Act’s most powerful provision and the consequences for minority voters,” the memo said.
Rutenberg will join the media desk in the coming weeks, and he will continue to contribute to the magazine.