We are excited to announce that Ken Plutnicki is joining the News Print Hub as a senior staff editor — the latest all-star editor with a Times Sports pedigree to join our Print Hub editing team. Ken has been a go-to editor since joining The Times in 1996, first in Sports, then in stops around the newsroom before circling back to Sports again.
Ken said if he had an origin story, it might be set in 1971, when he attended his first Yankees game as the winner of a V.I.P. trip to the stadium. He had won the grand prize at a fan festival held in a parking lot in Jersey City. A local newspaper wrote about it, misspelling young Ken’s surname throughout, a formative moment inside a formative moment.
Ken began his career writing sports and news features for The Miami Herald, then had editing stops with The Troy Record in New York and The Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J., before joining The Times. The local sports scene was particularly lively around this time, with the Knicks in the playoff mix every year and the Yankees about to win four World Series in a five-year stretch. The most difficult headline Ken remembers writing from that time was “Monumental Collapse,” when the Red Sox came back from an 0-3 series deficit to beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series in October 2004.
He said he never heard the end of it from the many Mets fans on the desk, and left Sports shortly afterward to work for The Times’s technology section — Circuits — then moved on to Dining, Home, Styles and Society. He got more appreciation for his headlines, winning a national award for one on a restaurant review of a very good steakhouse situated inside a strip club: “Where Only the Salad Is Properly Dressed.”
When The Times shifted to publishing articles digitally before they appeared in print, Ken returned to Sports as a day editor. In 2012, he was part of the editing team on “Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” for which John Branch won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
Ken has also had a byline now and then, including when his college basketball team was in danger of losing its Division I single-season record for highest free-throw percentage after more than 35 years. (The record survived that season, but was broken by Villanova in 2022.)
He’ll join the Print Hub on Sept. 18, and we could not be more excited about it.
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