What’s With All the Reshuffling Over at The New York Times, Anyway?

The Observer’s John Koblin is asking, regarding the many ostensibly lateral moves on The New York Times‘ masthead, just what is executive editor Bill Keller up to?

Good question. Keller has been maintaining in memos that the moves are not demotions, explaining them away with his folksy motto, “If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway.” Koblin explains, citing several unnamed Times sources, that the moves are adaptations to a hiring freeze and a bad job market. Trotting out yet another down-to-earth analogy, Keller himself said, “Think of it as pushing the ‘reset’ button.”

Read a timeline of recent masthead changes after the jump.

May 14, 2009: Food critic Frank Bruni leaves his post, ultimately becoming a writer at large; the search for a replacement foodie begins.

August 5, 2009: Sam Sifton replaces Frank Bruni Frank Bruni as restaurant critic.

Sept. 14 and 15, 2010: Jon Landman leaves his job as deputy managing editor to replace Sam Sifton as culture editor. Phil Corbett gets scheduled to replace Craig Whitney as associate managing editor.

Feb. 19, 2010: Richard Berke takes over for Suzanne Daley as national editor. Daley becomes a European correspondent.

Feb. 22, 2010: Style editor Trip Gabriel resumes a previous role to write about education. Stuart Emmrich assumes Gabriel’s role as style editor.

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