The New York Times Search for a Media Columnist

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

It was just over a year ago that Ben Smith left his post as media columnist for The New York Times. Smith joined Bloomberg Media chief executive Justin Smith (no relation) to start Semafor — a global news site.

Semafor launched late last year with Smith continuing his must-read media column for his new site. Meanwhile, the Times has not replaced Smith as its “Media Equation” columnist.

Vanity Fair’s Charlotte Klein wrote last week that the Times appears to be in the process of finding Smith’s replacement. Klein writes that a few candidates outside the Times have emerged as contenders, including former CNN media reporter (and former Times reporter) Brian Stelter, Washington Post media writer Sarah Ellison and Puck media columnist Dylan Byers. Klein reports she heard Byers took his name out of contention late last year and that Stelter has met with the Times in recent weeks.

Klein wrote, “It’s surprising for such a high-profile perch — one that Smith made a weekly destination for media junkies not seen since the David Carr era — to be dormant for this long. A Times insider last year told me that Smith’s departure presented an opportunity ‘for rethinking the focus’ of its signature column. And yet, one person who talked to the Times for the gig told me they got the impression that the Times was still trying to figure out what they were doing with the column — and looking for a columnist to come to them with a clear vision for it.”

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