Cliff Levy Named Metro Editor

Cliff Levy, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and one of our greatest journalistic innovators, will be our next Metro editor. Read more in this note from Dean Baquet.

I am pleased to announce that Cliff Levy, one of our greatest journalistic innovators, will take on a crucial role at the heart of our news report: driving coverage of New York City and the region as our Metro editor.

With this appointment, we are signaling our deep commitment to local news. We are also providing a new opportunity for one of our finest editors, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who will be a leader of The Times for years to come.

In taking on this new challenge, Cliff will step away from the top of the masthead. But he will continue to play a larger role in the newsroom, as an adviser on our continuing digital transformation and an associate managing editor.

In fact, Metro will now be a laboratory for his ideas and abundant creativity.

In the coming years, we will be asking many of our senior editors to take on different roles, as we broaden their experience and begin to create the leadership team of the future.

I have no doubt that Cliff will return to senior masthead duties at some point, just as I have no doubt that he will be one of our greatest Metro editors.

That view is shared by A.G. “Local journalism is facing a growing crisis and this should be the strongest signal of how seriously committed we are to covering our hometown,” A.G. told me. “With his journalistic chops, his digital vision and his infectious energy, Cliff is one of the newsroom’s most indispensable leaders and will be the perfect person to take on this urgent challenge.”

Cliff joined The Times in 1990, and has spent half his career on Metro. He was a general assignment reporter, Albany bureau chief and investigative reporter. He was also deputy metro editor, overseeing high-impact investigations and enterprise reporting.

One of his two Pulitzers was for a Metro investigation, into abuses at adult homes in 2002. (The other was for his work as a foreign correspondent in Russia in 2010.)

In recent years, Cliff shifted his attention to our digital report, which now has his fingerprints all over it, from the morning briefings to our push alert strategy to our strong coverage of breaking news.

Cliff headed the newsroom team on NYT Now, which led to many of the innovations and features that have shaped our core news app. He helped establish the modern, digital News Desk. And he developed some of our signature digital initiatives: the Express team, Smarter Living, the Briefings and the Reader Center.

This is a good moment to stop and reflect on Metro, and what it means for The Times. At a time when local news is in peril across the country, it is vital that The Times demonstrate a deep commitment to covering New York and the region. We have done remarkable work in the past few years, from hard-hitting reporting on the subway system to investigations of the police department and the city’s jails.

It is also part of our mission to aggressively cover the people with power in New York, including the mayor and the governor, and capture for our readers how they use that power. We intend to devote significant resources and reporting muscle to Metro, as Cliff shapes the department in the months ahead.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Susan Chira, who took over the department at a difficult time and has in just a few months delivered high-impact stories and lifted the energy and ambition of the staff. She will return to her role of senior correspondent and editor for gender issues with my profound gratitude.

Dean