In New York Times' New Editor, a Big Personality Shift

Low-key Joseph Kahn will replace the retiring Dean Baquet
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 19, 2022 1:18 PM CDT
In New York Times ' New Editor, a Big Personality Shift
Dean Baquet, executive editor, left, and Joe Kahn, managing editor, stand together in the newsroom at The New York Times headquarters in June 2021.   (Damon Winter/The New York Times via AP, File)

The New York Times has named Joseph Kahn as its new executive editor, replacing Dean Baquet with his current second-in-command to lead the news organization as it undergoes a period of rapid transformation. The 57-year-old Kahn, who has been managing editor at the Times since 2016, will take over on June 14, per the AP. Baquet, who at 65 has reached traditional retirement age for the Times' top newsroom leader, will remain at the newspaper in a capacity that will be announced later. Kahn joined the newspaper in 1998 from the Wall Street Journal. He previously served as the newspaper's Beijing bureau chief and led its international desk, which won six Pulitzer Prizes under his stewardship.

The newspaper has made a rapid transition in recent years, with its roughly 10 million digital subscriptions having increased ten-fold since 2014. It produces a popular podcast called The Daily, started a video investigative unit, bought the sports website the Athletic, and now even owns the popular word game Wordle. Kahn, a Harvard graduate, began work at the Dallas Morning News but set his sights on China and was working there when the Journal hired him in 1993. After joining the Times, he also worked as a business reporter in New York and Washington.

Axios notes a contrast in leadership styles: Baquet is a "charismatic" figure in the newsroom, while "Kahn is a much more low-key and understated figure. He's cerebral and measured and tends to lead from behind." Kahn himself was not made available for comment. "We couldn’t ask for a better leader for our newsroom amid a historic convergence of events," wrote publisher and chairman AG Sulzberger in a memo to staff. "And as one of the architects of our digital transformation, Joe’s vision will be crucial as we seek to become even more valuable to readers around the world." (More New York Times stories.)

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