Last week, The New York Post’s “Page Six” reported that Kate Betts was in talks to take over the Arts & Leisure desk of the New York Times. But can a woman who chose that — ahem — literary lion Bret Easton Ellis to describe how “fashion is influenced by culture” really be headed to one of the most prestigious cultural posts in the media?

Not according to sources at the paper. Several well-placed officials within the Times operation dismissed the reports, though one did say that the rumor created a bit of a stir in the newsroom before the Post story broke. Another said the report was “just not true. The entire staff would quit.” A third explained that “the New York Times has a policy of not discussing editorial openings with members of the press,” but said officials would deny the rumor only if it was clear Betts herself had leaked it to the Post.

Betts certainly seems busy on the job front, though. She was seen at the offices of US Weekly last week, where chairman Jann Wenner is looking for a new editor. Though her sister Elizabeth Betts is the art director there, a source said Kate “was dressed for an interview.” Since Terry McDonell left US for Sports Illustrated, Wenner reportedly offered the position to Maer Roshan, who immediately turned it down. After that, Bonnie Fuller became the leading contender for the job, but Fuller also has a new magazine in development with Meredith Publications and it’s not clear that Wenner is sold on her yet. US Weekly’s spokesman declined to comment.

As for Roshan’s movements, and reports in Neil Travis’s column that he is helming a new magazine, the former Talk and New York staffer e-mailed WWD to say that “when I have a new mag, I’ll be glad to talk about it. Until then, I’m just hanging out watching Oprah in my boxers.”

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