Times’s Bruni Becomes Paper’s First Openly Gay Columnist

In March we asked our readers whom they thought The New York Times should hire to replace op-ed writers Bob Herbert and Frank Rich. Names that came up included Salon’s Glenn Greenwald and outgoing NPR ombudswoman Alicia Shepard; there were also several noms for the “PunditMom.”

It turns out Times opinion page editor Andrew Rosenthal wasn’t reading cjr.org that day. Yesterday, the paper announced that former Times food critic Frank Bruni will be taking over Rich’s Sunday column and anchoring the Times’s revamped “Week in Review” section. Here is the Times’s Jeremy Peters on the decision:

Andrew Rosenthal, editor of the opinion pages, said in an e-mail to the staff on Monday that Mr. Bruni would write a new column in The Times’s redesigned Sunday Op-Ed pages.

“This column, which will be a new anchor feature of the section, will be a sharp, opinionated look at a big event of the last week, from a different or unexpected angle, or a small event that was really important but everyone seems to have missed, or something entirely different,” Mr. Rosenthal said. “It will fast become a destination for our readers with Frank at the keyboard.”

He said Mr. Bruni would also write a column one other day of the week, most likely Thursday.

Mr. Bruni, 46, is the first openly gay Op-Ed columnist in The Times’s 160-year history.

He said he would take on a wide variety of subjects.

“I’m excited and really grateful. At The Times and beforehand, I’ve been lucky to be able to write about many different topics, and I’m eager to take on a job that will allow me to range across most or all of them in a reflective, analytical and sometimes — I hope — spirited way.”

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor. Tags: , , ,