But that very fact seems to just re-create the turf war this Media desk was supposed to solve. What the fuck?
You’d think media reporter and part-time movie blogger David Carr would be the Media desk’s star. Nope. He’ll keep doing what he always does, although he’s being copied on all the Media desk memos to keep him in the loop. (Carr does a lot of things well, but breaking news isn’t one of them.) He e-mailed me, “My job has not changed. I do Culture/Oscars for Sam Sifton and a Monday media column for Bruce Headlam, two of the best editors in a building that has its share. I love working for both and will sit wherever they tell me to, although I don’t think it matters much.”
As for movie editor Lorne Manly, who’s also missing in action, his current status is even more confusing. Manly came to the NYT as a media writer/editor, then became media editor, then became media writer, then became movie editor. Now there’s a Media desk and he’s not it. (Understandable, because Manly’s oversight has been more like undersight: His reporter Michael Cieply keeps missing major stories.) I’m told that he’ll stay in Culture to edit features and some of the critics.
Plus, there’s ex-Hollywood business reporter Laura Holson, who now covers mostly cell phone stuff out of the paper’s headquarters and should be included in this attempt at convergence, but isn’t. Didn’t the NYT memo specifically refer to shoe phones? (Or else someone saw the Get Smart remake once too often ... )
Look, if The N.Y. Times editors really want to shake up the paper’s coverage of infotainment, how to do it ain’t rocket science. Simply tell reporters to stop believing anything the CEOs tell them. (And I do mean Tim Arango and Bill Carter specifically. Arango’s recent softball lobbed to Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes was an embarrassment. And Carter’s never-ending regurgitation of every TV chief’s corporate-line crap is unforgivable.) Only then can truth-telling start.