After more than 30 years at the New York Times, Frank Rich is departing the newspaper to write a column for New York magazine and its website. Rich has had a Sunday column for 17 years, which followed 14 years as a theater reviewer. As Rich prepares to start his new post in June, the NYT has announced that business section columnist Joe Nocera will join the main Op-Ed page twice a week.
The changes come as the NYT prepares a major overhaul of the Week in Review section. Rich’s weekly 1,500-word column (previously most columns were around 800 words) was part of an expanded Op-Ed page that the Times introduced in the Week in Review section in 2005.
Since then, the proliferation and acceleration of commentary on the web has called into question the role of a weekly opinion section. It’s also called into question the state of most weekly magazines, but for a variety of reasons — including its web sensibilities, New York magazine has been able to withstand those pressures
(even Gawker’s Nick Denton has praised the publication).
Rich will be an essayist for the magazine, writing monthly on politics and culture. He’ll also serve as an editor-at-large, editing a special monthly section anchored by his essay. He will be involved on nymag.com, as well, fostering regular dialogues on the news of the week. Rich’s last column in the NYT will appear on Sunday, March 13.
For the past six years, Nocera has written the Saturday Talking Business column for the NYT. His move to the op-ed page will start in April. It’s not clear yet what two days of the week his column will appear.
The moves also come as the NYT nears the launch of its paywall, with a metered system that, unlike the prior TimesSelect program, should allow columns and columnists to remain visible.