New York Times Names James Dao Metro Editor

A veteran of the paper is appointed to lead its local coverage as candidates line up to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, and New York City looks beyond the pandemic.,

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The New York Times on Monday named Jim Dao, a deputy editor on the national desk who has worked in a wide range of roles at the paper since 1992, as its new metropolitan editor.

“Jim will oversee the most consequential mayoral race in many years, and the epic story of the rebuilding of a city devastated by the pandemic,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, and Joseph Kahn, the managing editor, said in a note to the staff on Monday.

For Mr. Dao, 63, the new role is a homecoming. He joined The Times as a metro reporter nearly 30 years ago and was later the department’s deputy editor. He has also served as Albany bureau chief, congressional reporter and Pentagon correspondent.

In 2010 and 2011, he reported an eight-part, multimedia series about the yearlong deployment of an Army battalion in Afghanistan, “A Year at War,” which won an Emmy. He was also an executive producer of “Father Soldier Son,” a Netflix documentary based on the life of an Army sergeant profiled in his Afghanistan series.

In 2016 Mr. Dao joined the opinion department, which is run separately from the newsroom, as the Op-Ed editor. In June, the section’s top editor, James Bennet, resigned amid internal and external criticism of a Times essay by Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, that called for troops to be deployed in response to civil unrest. Mr. Dao stepped down from his position, and The Times reassigned him, making him an editor on the national desk.

Mr. Dao takes over metro coverage from Clifford J. Levy, who led the department from 2018 until January, when The Times announced that he would spend some time advising the audio department as a deputy managing editor, one of the highest newsroom positions at the paper.

Mr. Dao steps into the new job as a number of candidates are promoting themselves in advance of the Nov. 2 vote that will determine the successor to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. He also takes the job at a time of flux within The Times. High-level editors have lately gotten promotions as Mr. Baquet, 64, approaches the paper’s traditional retirement age of 66 for top leaders.

Carolyn Ryan, who oversees recruitment and strategy at The Times, was promoted to deputy managing editor in October. Marc Lacey, the former national desk editor, joined the newsroom leadership team as the editor in charge of live coverage in December. Rebecca Blumenstein was promoted in February to a newly created role as a deputy editor working directly with the publisher, A. G. Sulzberger.

The Times has also promoted rising stars recently. Jia Lynn Yang, a deputy editor on the national desk, was appointed national editor in February. Ms. Yang, the author of the 2020 book “One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965,” coordinated the national department’s collaborations with the politics team for the paper’s coverage of the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential campaign.

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