Since September, the New York Times Magazine has had New York magazine editor Adam Moss up against the ropes. Tuesday, Moss pulled a Micky Ward, taking Times op-ed giant Frank Rich for New York.
As editor of the New York Times Magazine, Moss created the weekly that readers know today before decamping to New York in 2004. Last September—perhaps as an act of long-overdue revenge—the Times Magazine snagged Hugo Lindgren, who Moss had hired twice at New York, to be its new editor. As the New York Observer pointed out at the time, the move marked the beginning of an “intriguing rivalry” between the two publications.
It might have been more accurately described as a severe beating, with New York as the tomato can. In round two, weeks after his arrival, Lindgren poached New York editorial director Lauren Kern. In December, he grabbed New York’s editor-at-large Adam Sternbergh and book critic Sam Anderson.
Then a strange dance ensued: In late December, Benjamin Wallace-Wells, a contributing writer at the Times Magazine, wrote a profile of The New Republic’s Marty Peretz for New York; in January, New York contributing editor Stephen Rodrick wrote a profile of Peretz for the Times. But Lindgren came back hard last month, stealing away Ian Adelman, New York’s longtime design director.
Moss had his counterpunch in mind since before the fight began: He’d been recruiting Rich for New York since as early as March 2004. Rich’s acceptance couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
The fight is probably far from over, but Moss has certainly dealt the Times a blow. Rich’s last column for the Times will run on March 13, according to the paper.