In a somewhat baffling series of moves, Joel Klein is stepping down from his post as New York City’s schools chancellor for a job at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, where he’ll act as the company’s senior advisor. Taking his place as chancellor is none other than Hearst chairwoman Cathie Black.
Klein first took on the role eight years ago, with no prior experience working with schools. He was formerly an antitrust chief at the Justice Department and chairman and chief executive officer of media giant Bertelsmann Inc.
Black, who addressed the move in a press conference today, was asked to be Klein’s successor by Mayor Mike Bloomberg himself. Explained Bloomberg:
Cathy is a world-class manager, and she is uniquely qualified to take us in the direction people keep talking about: jobs, jobs, jobs. That is something Cathie Black knows about, as much as anybody in this room.
The Village Voice points out that Black’s own children attend private boarding schools in Connecticut.
And just how are New York media reporters reacting to this bit of news?
The New York Observer‘s Kyle Pope Tweeted, astutely, that “this is all very odd.”
Runnin’ Scared blogger Jen Doll, meanwhile, chose to look for a silver (or pink and navy) lining, Tweeting that she rather likes Ms. Black, “especially how she spells her name with that peppy ‘ie.’ that’s good for kids.”