'N.Y. Times' Unveils Expanded Opinion Section

By: E&P Staff As promised, The New York Times unveiled its expanded Sunday Op-Ed section, a move set in motion at least partly by the decision to move the lengthy Frank Rich contributions back to this section, from Arts & Leisure. But there are several added angles, as well.

For one thing, because the new two-page group of columns runs as a spread, not merely opposite the editorials, the name has been changed from Op-Ed to ?Opinion.?

The paper has also shuffled columnists, with longtime Sunday favorites Maureen Dowd and Thomas L. Friedman exiting this space to other days. The regulars on Sunday, as announced today by Gail Collins, the editorial page editor, will be Rich, Nicholas Kristof, and David Brooks.

The paper printed a box with the new schedule, which places Dowd on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with Friedman on Wednesdays and Fridays. John Tierney, who replaces William Safire, will appear on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The public editor?s column will also appear on the spread but, in what appears to be a change, Collins said the column will run whenever the ombud chooses to write one. Outgoing public editor Dan Okrent wrote pretty much on an every-other-week schedule, but his newly named successor Barney Calame has said he might not want to provide one quite that often.

Collins observed that Times readers are notably set in their ways and many howl when changes get made. The last time columnists got shuffled in 2003, ?it was fascinating,? she wrote, ?how many people claimed to read the paper only on, say, Wednesday.?

She said that the Times has been doing a better job in promoting political diversity lately ?than with a range of genders, ethnicities or even hometowns.? The entire stable of Times columnists resides in the Northeast corridor.


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