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New York Times names Joseph Kahn as its new executive editor

Kahn, who has Jewish heritage, has served as the paper’s Beijing bureau chief, as well as head of its international desk, which won six Pulitzer Prizes under his stewardship

Incoming New York Times Executive Editor Joe Kahn. (Celeste Sloman/The New York Times via AP)
Incoming New York Times Executive Editor Joe Kahn. (Celeste Sloman/The New York Times via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 storied news organization as it undergoes a period of rapid transformation in the digital age.

Kahn, who has been managing editor at The Times since 2016, will take over on June 14. Baquet, who at 65 has reached the 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 increased ten-fold since 2014. It produces a popular podcast, “The Daily,” started a video investigative unit, bought the sports website The Athletic and now even owns the popular word game, Wordle.

The newspaper’s publisher and chairman, A.G. Sulzberger, said in a memo to staff that the appointment should come as no surprise to many. Baquet told him that Kahn was more prepared to lead a newsroom like The Times than any editor he’s ever seen.

“We couldn’t ask for a better leader for our newsroom amid a historic convergence of events,” Sulzberger said. “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.”

Kahn was not made available for comment on Tuesday.

Kahn, a Harvard graduate who has Jewish heritage, 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.

In management as Baquet’s partner, Kahn has led The Times’ push into becoming a digital-first operation, championed different forms of storytelling and has led the organization’s efforts to make the newsroom more diverse and inclusive, Sulzberger said.

“Some will interpret this promotion as a sign of confidence in our current path,” Sulzberger said. “That’s true.”

The Times hasn’t been the only newsroom to face leadership change. Last year, The Washington Post named Sally Buzbee as its executive editor, The Los Angeles Times hired Kevin Merida in the same role and The Associated Press named Julie Pace as its newsroom leader. ABC, CBS News and MSNBC also have new leaders.

Baquet has led the newsroom for the past eight years.

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