New York Times opinion columnist Frank Rich is leaving the newspaper after 31 years to join New York Magazine.
Rich will join New York as an essayist beginning in June, where he will write monthly on politics and culture and serve as an editor-at-large. Rich will edit a monthly section anchored by his essay as well as deliver weekly commentary on NYMag.com, according to an announcement. His final Times column will run on March 13.
"Frank Rich is a giant--a powerhouse critic of politics and culture, a rigorous thinker, a glorious stylist, a skeptic and optimist at the same time. There is just no one like him in American journalism," New York editor Adam Moss said in the announcement. "He is also a friend. I have had the privilege to work with him for almost 25 years. Since the day I came to New York, I have hoped I could persuade him to join us here. I'm ecstatic that he will now be bringing his wisdom to our growing audience. This is a very big day for New York."
Rich said in a statement that he leaves the Times "with deep affection for both the institution and my many brilliant colleagues, and with much gratitude for the opportunity the paper gave me to serve in two dream jobs in journalism."
Rich has served as a columnist for the paper since 1994, and was the paper's chief drama critic from 1980-1993.
He added that he's felt "a serious hunger to move on to fresh and expanded writing challenges after having done the same assignment for so long," and that joining New York gives him the opportunity to "stretch the definition of a magazine column."
In a memo obtained by The Cutline's Michael Calderone, New York Times editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal said, "I speak for everyone at The Times when I say that we are very sorry to see him leave. We offer him our gratitude and wish him all good things as he begins this next exciting chapter of an already highly distinguished career."
Rich will continue to serve as a creative consultant for HBO. His full statement appears below:
"There is no greater newspaper than The Times. I leave the paper with deep affection for both the institution and my many brilliant colleagues, and with much gratitude for the opportunity the paper gave me to serve in two dream jobs in journalism. After 17 years in my second career there, as a columnist, I feel much as I did after nearly 14 years in my first, as chief drama critic -- both the satisfaction that I've given a great job all I had and a serious hunger to move on to fresh and expanded writing challenges after having done the same assignment for so long. I've spent much of the past year talking to friends inside and outside The Times about what might be most exciting for me next. It was impossible to top the idea of reuniting with my friend Adam Moss, who has played a crucial role in my writing life since the late 1980's and who, as editor of the Times Magazine, was instrumental in my transition from arts criticism to broader essay writing. The role Adam has created for me at his revitalized New York magazine will allow me to write with more reflection, variety and space than is possible within the confines of a weekly newspaper column -- and, for that matter, will allow me to stretch the definition of a magazine column."