Sydney Ember Is Your New Stuart Elliott

By Patrick Coffee 

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The “passing” of Stuart Elliott, longtime New York Times ad reporter and (alleged) foil to many a PR department, marked the end of an era of sorts and inspired more than one note of appreciation.

Quite a few — ourselves included — speculated that the Grey Lady would not replace him with a full-time staffer dedicated to covering the ad industry and assorted foibles, but we were wrong.


Today, an internal email leaked to Capital New York reveals that Sydney Ember, a former financial analyst who previously covered Wall Street matters for the paper’s DealBook vertical, will now be the Times‘ ad/marketing beat reporter.

From the memo by business editors Dean Murphy and Peter Lattman:

“Sydney Ember takes on the advertising and marketing beat. A former analyst at BlackRock’s Financial Markets Advisory group, Sydney has spent the last year writing DealBook’s morning newsletter, a daily exercise that has her up at 4:30 a.m. synthesizing financial news pouring in from around the globe. In her spare time, she has written stories for both DealBook and the media desk, including a series of insightful articles on bitcoin.

Now Sydney will help us make sense of the profound and complex changes in the advertising business, from the rise of ad tech to the dramatic shift of marketers’ ad dollars to mobile and social. The media desk has had its eye on Sydney since 2010, when as a student at Brown she helped David Carr with his blockbuster story on the Tribune Company.”

Given the fact that her last piece concerned equity firms and foreclosed homes, one wonders exactly how Ember will cover the ad world; we predict few light-hearted agency profiles.

That said, any student of David Carr’s will likely prove to be a worthy successor to Elliott.