Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of the New York Times and former editor and vice president of The Buffalo News, is leaving to join the Washington Post as its media columnist, the two papers announced Monday.
Sullivan assumed her role at the Times in 2012, and her tenure was scheduled to end in August. In a memo to the staff, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times’ publisher, praised Sullivan, saying she had “ushered the position into a new age.”
He said she would be staying on at the paper for “a number of weeks” and that the search for a successor was underway. “We will be in a position to name Margaret’s successor very soon,” he wrote.
As public editor, Sullivan wrote about journalistic issues and ethics in regard to Times coverage, addressing a range of subjects including anonymous sourcing, fairness and stereotyping.
An announcement from Liz Seymour, executive features editor at the Washington Post, said the centerpiece of Sullivan’s work will be a weekly column.
“It will encompass everything related to digital media, and how that transformation is affecting people’s lives and work, along with journalism, news literacy, privacy and free speech, and media personalities,” the WashPost PR blog post said. “Margaret is a huge consumer of culture, especially pop music, literary fiction, theater, art, and movies, and will pull these elements into her column.”
Sullivan was editor and vice president of The Buffalo News for 13 years. A native of Lackawanna, she started at The News as an intern in 1980 and was the first female editor and, previously, the first female managing editor. She also served as a reporter and a columnist.
During her years as editor of The News, Sullivan established the newspaper’s first investigative reporting team, helped develop Western New York’s leading website and emphasized local enterprise reporting.