Editorial Changes At NYT: Corbett Named Standards Editor, Landman To Lead Culture

Jonathan Landman.jpgNew York Times executive editor Bill Keller has announced two new changes atop the editorial staff at the paper, starting with the announcement yesterday that Deputy News Editor Phil Corbett will be taking on the role of associate managing editor for standards next month after Craig Whitney retires.

“In that role, Phil will become the newsroom’s voice for all standards and ethics questions relating to content and news coverage, both in the printed newspaper and on the Web,” Keller said in a memo to staff. “This includes responsibility — along with Greg Brock — for dealing with corrections and editors’ notes, as well as questions from the Public Editor. He will also be the teller’s window for vetting conflict of interest and other policy rules outlined in the handbook on Ethical Journalism.”

Then today, Keller announced to the Times staff that Deputy Managing Editor Jonathan Landman (right) would be taking over the culture editor role vacated by Sam Sifton last month when he was picked to take up Frank Bruni’s restaurant critic beat.

Keller called Landman’s selection a “no-brainer,” and noted that as he steps away from his role overseeing the Times‘s digital newsroom, the paper’s other leaders (including Keller himself) will have to focus more heavily on the Web:

“In proposing this change, Jon made a strong case that, in the next stage of integration, the support and promotion of this new kind of journalism must become more fully the responsibility of the newsroom’s top leadership — me, [managing editor Jill Abramson] and [managing editor John Geddes]. He reminded me that in the original proposal for an integrated newsroom — May, 2005 — I insisted that it is not enough to create new advocates for Web journalism within the NYT newsroom; the newsroom would be truly integrated only when the top editors took as much responsibility for our digital journalism as they do for the more traditional kind. We’ve stopped a little short of that ambition, in large part because we had Jon to defer to and depend on. We’ll have more to say on this important subject, but the main thing to say now is that Jill and I, in particular, see this as time to rearrange our priorities and devote more of our bandwidth to digital journalism.”

Said Landman in an announcement about his move today:

“It’s time for the newsroom to take the next step toward full integration, to put management of Web journalism and print in the same hands. That’s how we’ll be able to do the ambitious work we want to do.”

Read more of Keller’s memos about both Corbett and Landman here.

After the jump, the press release from the Times today announcing Landman’s appointment.

(Photo courtesy of The New York Times)


NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2009 — The New York Times announced today that Jonathan Landman, deputy managing editor and a member of the masthead, has been named culture editor for the newspaper and NYTimes.com, reporting to executive editor Bill Keller. He succeeds Sam Sifton, who was recently appointed restaurant critic. Mr. Landman was the acting culture editor from 2004 to 2005. In August 2005, he was appointed to oversee the integration of the print and Web newsrooms. He was instrumental in bringing about many of the resulting innovations.

In making the announcement, Mr. Keller said, “Jon brings to the culture department a strenuous intelligence, an inspiring vision, a gift for getting the very best from people and — no small thing as our competitive landscape shifts — a keen appreciation of what culture journalism can be on the Web.”

“It’s time for the newsroom to take the next step toward full integration, to put management of Web journalism and print in the same hands,” said Mr. Landman. “That’s how we’ll be able to do the ambitious work we want to do. On a personal level, it feels like a good time for me to become a journalist again. I love our coverage of cultural issues and it will be such a pleasure to participate in it.”

Mr. Landman, 56, previously had been metropolitan editor of The Times from 1999 until 2003, and editor of the Week in Review section since 1994. He was assistant managing editor for enterprise from 2003 to 2004. Before that, he served as deputy editor of the Washington bureau since 1992; assistant editor in Washington from 1991; assistant metropolitan editor from 1990, and assistant national editor from 1989. Mr. Landman joined The Times as a copy editor in 1987.

For six months in 1995, Mr. Landman served as acting Sunday business editor, supervising the creation of the new Money & Business section and for six months in 1996, he was acting deputy metro editor.

Before joining The Times, Mr. Landman was deputy city editor at The Daily News from 1985 until 1987. He was a reporter at Newsday, where he covered Suffolk County, in 1984 and 1985. Before joining Newsday, Mr. Landman was a reporter covering education, City Hall and wrote investigative news stories at The Chicago Sun-Times from 1979 until 1984. He also served as assistant city editor there. Mr. Landman worked at The Ford Foundation in 1978 and 1979 as assistant to Fred W. Friendly, who was the program advisor of communications. From 1975 until 1977, he was an assistant editor at Scholastic Magazines.

Born in New York City, Mr. Landman graduated from Amherst College in 1974 and received a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia in 1978.