Bob Sipchen, the editorial architect of the Times' Current section (former Sunday Opinion), is moving back into the newsroom for a role in an as-yet-unannounced new initiative. Sipchen's departure from the second-floor opinion lair is not unexpected. He had thrived under former opinion editor Michael Kinsley, who brought him in from the Outdoors section (which Sipchen also started) to create Current. When Kinsley left the Times, some newsroom observers thought that Sipchen would be unhappy working for his successor, Andrés Martinez. Today's memo from Editor Dean Baquet of course makes no mention of any of that, but does mention Sipchen's Pulitzer for editorial writing—and hints that the new initiative will involve the web and California. No mention of a replacement at Current. Memo after the jump:
To: The Staff
From: Dean Baquet
I'm pleased to announce that Bob Sipchen, one of our most creative writers and editors, will be returning to the newsroom to take on an enterprise project that we'll announce early next year. When Bob left last year to remake Sunday Opinion, I told him privately that I would likely try to lure him back. I have done so.
Bob has worked across the paper. After winning the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing with Alex Raksin in 2002, he moved to Features, where he created the Outdoors section, which I still maintain was one of the most inventive feature sections around.
Bob has a range of interests, which will figure in his next project. Most intriguingly, he has thoughts about two parts of the paper that will figure prominently in our near future --- the web site and California.