Tuesday afternoon, Sam Sifton announced on Twitter that he was stepping down as The New York Times's food critic to become the paper's new national editor. He added a hashtag: #checkplease. The Times announced the news a few minutes later with an excerpt from newly annointed exectutive editor Jill Abramson. "Sam Sifton will be our new National editor," wrote Abramson. From his star runs at Dining and Culture, we all know that Sam is a superb editor who brings infectious energy and a host of original ideas, digital and print, to everything he touches. Correspondents and critics adore him." The full memo also announcing Adam Bryant as the paper's new Senior Editor for Features is below.
Sifton is just the latest bold high-level editorial staff adjustment made by new executive editor Jill Abramson, who took over as the paper's executive editor this month. WWD's John Koblin reported a rumor that Sifton was in the running for the job last week and hinted at the idea that hunger (pun intended) gets you further than experience in the new Times newsroom. "Sifton has been the restaurant critic for just two years and has had no experience as a national reporter or editor." Koblin wrote. "But one Times source said that Sifton 'would make the leap in a minute--he has much greater career ambitions than to be restaurant critic.'" And as our own Adam Martin points out, there are a bunch of foodies who won't miss him.