Hesser on Leaving NYT: ‘The Economy is Tanking — It’s the Perfect Time to Start a Company’

Hesser, Amanda(3).jpgNew York Times food writer Amanda Hesser emailed us to confirm previous rumors that she will be leaving the paper after 11 years there to start an Internet company, but denied accepting a buyout after being asked to leave. More on her departure and the new venture, which has “nothing to do with food or journalism” after the jump…

“A few weeks ago, I told the Times I wanted to pursue an outside project. Since the company was offering a buyout to people in the newsroom, I applied for it… If anything, it’s a little crazy for me to be leaving. But I figured, well, my husband and I have a mortgage to pay, kids to feed and the economy is tanking — it’s the perfect time to start a company!”

Hesser will complete an ongoing cookbook project for the paper and remain a Times Magazine columnist, writing her “Recipe Redux” column there. She began as a food reporter at the Times in 1997, and is the author of two books, The Cook and the Gardener and Cooking for Mr. Latte, chronicling her courtship through food with now-husband and New Yorker writer Tad Friend.

“The internet company that I’m starting doesn’t have anything to do with food or journalism,” she said via email. “It’s a so-called ‘digital life aggregator,’ a concept that sounds forbidding but isn’t.”