David Carr on the job in 2008. Damon Winter/New York Times
New York Times media columnist David Carr was stricken tonight at his desk in the newsroom in Manhattan. He died shortly after at a hospital. NYT executive editor Dean Baquet announced the news to his staff via email:
I am sorry to have to tell you that our wonderful, esteemed colleague David Carr died suddenly tonight after collapsing in the newsroom. A group of us were with his wife, Jill, and one of his daughters, at the hospital. His daughter Erin said he was special, and that he was.
He was the finest media reporter of his generation, a remarkable and funny man who was one of the leaders of our newsroom. He was our biggest champion, and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world, and by people who love journalism.
Carr had moderated a panel discussion tonight about the film “Citizenfour” with Edward J. Snowden, director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald. (Video.) He then returned to the office. From the lede of the New York Times obituary:
David Carr, a writer who wriggled away from the demon of drug addiction to become an unlikely name-brand media columnist at The New York Times, and the star of a documentary about the newspaper, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 58.
Mr. Carr collapsed in The Times newsroom, where he was found shortly before 9 p.m. He was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead….
Mr. Carr wrote about cultural subjects for The Times; he initiated the feature known as The Carpetbagger, a regular report on the news and nonsense from the red carpet during awards season. He championed offbeat movies like “Juno,” with Ellen Page, and he interviewed stars both enduring and evanescent — Woody Harrelson, Neil Young, Michael Cera.
More recently, however, he was best known for The Media Equation, a Monday column in The Times that analyzed news and developments in publishing, television, social media — for which he was an early evangelist — and other mass communications platforms. His plain-spoken style was sometimes blunt, and searingly honest about himself. The effect was both folksy and sophisticated, a voice from a shrewd and well-informed skeptic.
A cancer survivor with a throaty croak of a speaking voice and a storklike posture, he was a curmudgeonly personality whose intellectual cockiness and unwillingness to suffer fools found their way into his prose. Mr. Carr became the embodiment of The Times as the surprise scene stealer of a 2011 documentary about the paper, “Page One: Inside The New York Times,” in which Mr. Carr is seen not only reporting stories but defending the honor of the paper against offhand insults.
Carr joined the New York Times in 2002 as a business reporter covering the magazine industry, after working at Inside.com and the Washington City Paper. His 2008 memoir was called "The Night of the Gun."
Added 8:35 a.m.: Brian Stelter, Carr's former colleague on the NYT media beat who shared the limelight in "Page One," broke his Twitter silence this morning and posted that "my heart is broken."
I loved David so much. He's been the closest thing I had to a dad. About girls, bosses, life -- he always knew what to say, what to do.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 13, 2015
We all looked to @carr2n to make sense of the media revolution & to contemplate the future. A future without him is terrible to contemplate.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 13, 2015
Carr and Stelter in the trailer for "Page One."
Some tweets follow.
There was no one whose criticism of my work I trusted more than @carr2n, and no one whose praise meant more to me.— a. o. scott (@aoscott) February 13, 2015
David Carr was a great journalist & a great person. He introduced us to his daughter after the event, who he was always praising. So sad-RIP— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 13, 2015
Tonight I will play for David Carr. Some of the most exciting/inspiring talks & dinners I have ever had were with him. I am heartbroken.— Carrie Brownstein (@Carrie_Rachel) February 13, 2015
My thoughts are with David Carr’s friends and family. Hard to process him being gone. A short personal remembrance: http://t.co/RBY4baH6KM— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 13, 2015
Sending up a little paper lantern for David Carr. http://t.co/HPucYayoAo Spill all the ink.— Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) February 13, 2015
Carr's commencement speech at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism last year: