- Joseph Kahn, 57, will take over The
New York Timesnewsroom from Dean Baquet.
- Kahn is a former foreign correspondent in China and international editor.
Joseph Kahn, the managing editor of the New York Times and a former foreign correspondent in China and international editor, has been named the next executive editor of newspaper.
Kahn is replacing Dean Baquet, who is set to step down from the role in June, the company said.
The ascension of Kahn, 57, has long been expected. Since 2016, he has served as managing editor under Baquet, who hit the paper's mandatory retirement age of 65 this year after being in the top editorial job at the paper since 2014 and steering the paper through a digital revitalization and the turbulent Trump years. Baquet is staying on at the Times in a different position that the company says will be announced soon.
In the No 2. role, Kahn has focused on shaping how the Times' journalism is presented, like the development of its "Live" breaking news product and the use of graphics and interactives, colleagues say. A former Wall Street Journal business reporter, he is also said to have deeper ties with the business side of the paper than Baquet.
Kahn's colleagues describe him as accomplished, bright, quiet, and a somewhat mysterious figure. He is also the embodiment of a classic New York Timesman: A Harvard-educated, career foreign correspondent from a privileged upbringing. (Kahn's father cofounded Staples.)
Kahn is succeeding Baquet, the Times's first Black executive editor and a deft newsroom politician and schmoozer. Kahn, in contrast, is known to be serious and reserved in professional settings — the kind of colleague who keeps his eyes down on his phone during elevator rides, according to one staffer.
But his journalistic credentials are unquestionable. While the last two Times executive editors — Baquet and Jill Abramson — had deep roots in political and national security reporting, Kahn's background and personal interest is in business and international affairs. In recent weeks, colleagues say he has been involved in the paper's coverage of Ukraine.
Kahn joined the paper in 1998 and distinguished himself as a foreign correspondent and bureau chief in China, sharing in a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on China's faulty legal system. After a stint in Washington covering economics and one in New York on the business desk, he moved up the chain through a series of roles overseeing international coverage.
Kahn began his career at The Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News, where he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories about violence against women.
Times insiders say that Kahn is inheriting a paper at an extremely challenging moment for its internal culture, particularly in the wake of an internal flare-up over how the paper covers race — and how staffers from non-traditional backgrounds are treated within the paper — following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Kahn has put himself at the center of conversations surrounding diversity, and he was one of the top editors involved in an internal report delving into how the Times can become a more inclusive workplace.
The Times reported that Kahn also told colleagues that maintaining editorial independence in a time where there is increased polarization is a top priority.
Indeed, Kahn is an old-school news editor, insiders say. And they believe that he is ideologically aligned with A.G. Sulzberger — the publisher and scion of the family that controls the paper — in thinking that the institution needs to be careful to resist becoming too captive to its left-leaning readers as well as its most vocal, often younger staffers agitating for a more progressive news approach.
In recent months, the paper has set up a new editorial standards team focusing on reader trust that some view as laying that groundwork to reposition the paper toward the center, politically. Some in the newsroom expect Kahn will also focus on how reporters use social
"He's kind of like a no-nonsense person," said one Times insider of Kahn. "For good and bad, Dean has a real softness about him. I think Joe might be more likely to enforce some of these norms around how we express ourselves."
Under Baquet, the New York Times notched 18 Pulitzer Prizes and expanded its its news unit to about 1,700 employees. But it has also faced unrest in its ranks, as well as a series of journalistic controversies, such as its handling of its "Caliphate" podcast, which the paper said did not meet its editorial standards.
A. G. Sulzberger, Times publisher and chairman of The New York Times Company, said in a statement about Kahn's appointment that the paper "couldn't ask for a better leader for our newsroom amid a historic convergence of events."
"Joe brings impeccable news judgment, a sophisticated understanding of the forces shaping the world and a long track record of helping journalists produce their most ambitious and courageous work," Sulzberger said in the statement.
The next big question for Kahn will be which editors he elevates around him. Insiders expect he may look to Carolyn Ryan and Mark Lacey to be a part of his inner circle.
Currently one of five deputy managing editors at the Times, Ryan has been a key figure on newsroom recruitment as well as the paper's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Earlier in her Times career she oversaw the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Eliot Spitzer scandal and later ran its Washington bureau and 2016 election coverage. She is also the first openly gay woman on the Times masthead.
Lacey has been an assistant managing editor overseeing the paper's Live journalism product. He has led national coverage, moderated the Times' presidential primary debate, and is one of the most senior Black editors in the newsroom.