Mark Leibovich to Stay at the “New York Times”

For once, the story isn’t that a reporter is leaving his job, but that he’s staying.
Mark Liebovich. Photograph by Ralph Alswang.

Rarely has a reporter staying in his job been bigger news in journalism than the fact today that the
New York Times’s
Mark Leibovich is staying put—albeit with a promotion of sorts.

Washington’s reigning master of the political profile will be the new chief national correspondent for the
New York Times Magazine, according to a statement from editor
Hugo Lindgren. He’ll also contribute
to the political pieces in the paper’s Sunday Styles section. Since he left the
Washington Post in 2006, Leibovich has been working mostly for the daily paper and contributing a couple of pieces annually to the
Magazine.

Leibovich’s move comes just weeks after the
New Republic made a run at recruiting him to join its new incarnation led by
Chris Hughes and
Franklin Foer. So far, the 40,000-circulation
magazine, which is attempting to relaunch the brand with the addition of
high-profile, high-powered,
and pricey talent, has been having great success recruiting its
dream team. This week alone it’s announced the
recruiting

of the
New Yorker’s
Julia Ioffe and the
Tablet’s
Marc Tracy and last week hired

Greg Veis back from the
Times Magazine. Recruiting Leibovich would have been a seismic event for Washington media.

“I like to be read,” Leibovich said. “That’s most of what any writer could want.”

At the
Times Magazine, he won’t have much problem achieving that goal.

Says Lindgren in his memo today, “His style is so naturally suited to what we do. He understands exactly how the culture of
Washington interacts with the culture of the whole country.”

Leibovich has been working on a book (already
controversial
)

about Washington culture that will surely be received as a
blockbuster when it’s published. To be published next year by Simon
& Schuster, it
examines “how
modern Washington has perfected the
culture of self-love and celebrity while the rest of the
country is feeling increasingly alienated from the place.”

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