After 18 years on the opinion pages of The New York Times, columnist Bob Herbert is leaving the newspaper. His final column will run this Saturday.
The Times announced Herbert’s resignation on Friday. In a memo sent to the paper’s staff, Herbert said, “The deadlines and demands were a useful discipline, but for some time now I have grown eager to move beyond the constriction of the column format, with its rigid 800-word limit, in favor of broader and more versatile efforts.”
His departure is the latest in a series of changes that has rocked the Times’ opinion pages of late. Earlier this month, columnist Frank Rich, one of the paper’s biggest names, left for New York magazine. David Shipley, who’d been editor of the Op-Ed section, left in January. And Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal is leading an overhaul of the Week In Review section.
In announcing Herbert’s resignation, Rosenthal said of him: “He was often called ‘the conscience of The Times.’ We will miss him and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Herbert indicated that he intends to work on his book, “Wounded Colossus,” and a “soon-to-be-announced effort to help bolster progressive journalism.”
Though he didn’t get the kind of attention given to the Times’ other columnists, Herbert has long been recognized for his progressive politics and commitment to telling stories of societal injustices. He began writing his column in 1993.