New York Times National Desk Undergoing Major Overhaul

The New York Observer‘s John Koblin reports that there’s plenty of change afoot at The New York Times‘ national desk.

Citing “several sources,” Koblin writes that four editors — deputies David Firestone and Jack Kadden, along with assistant national editor Joan Nassivera and Web editor Suzanne Spector — are on their way out of their current positions and looking for other jobs at the paper. Those changes come on top of recent additions: editor Rick Berke, deputy editor Adam Bryant and Los Angeles bureau chief Adam Nagourney. National editor Suzanne Daley and deputy editor Dean Murphy are both leaving the department.

Koblin notes the rapidity of the changes:

It’s standard practice for a new department head to assemble his own team. But the fact that Mr. Berke is on the verge of replacing roughly half the editors on the national desk less than a month after he was named editor—he hasn’t even formally started the job yet—is notable for a newsroom that has had so little movement in recent years.

There’s also some palace intrigue. According to the report, many had expected Murphy to succeed Daley, and Executive Editor Bill Keller never conducted a formal search before hiring Berke for the editor job. Koblin goes on to speculate that Berke may be being groomed for Keller’s job.

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