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Bill Keller makes it official this morning: Boldface, the Times kinda-sorta gossip column, will end its amusing and sometimes awkward run Friday. (Related question: What is this damned column actually called? In the current design of the Metro section, it's clearly slugged as merely "Boldface." People refer to it as "Boldface Names," which we assumed that was a mere vestigial holdover from previous layouts, when the column actually bore that title. But now Keller is calling it "Boldface Names" as well, and one would assume he knows. So maybe B2 simply gets the name wrong, and we're wrong to follow B2's lead? We have no idea.) Keller also confirms that bearded Boldfacer Campbell Robertson is having "a romance with the Culture Department," which we're taking to mean his rumored move to the Broadway-reporting beat is in fact in the offing. We've asked Campbell for comment; we hope to have something appropriately witty and narrative — perhaps with a showtunes reference! — shortly.

Keller's memo is after the jump.

On Behalf Of Bill Keller
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:38 AM
Subject: Boldface News

To the Staff:

Boldface Names, begun five years ago, turned out to be a great adventure for the NYT. Since 2001, in the hands of several very talented reporters, the column proved to be entertaining, daring, and laugh-out-loud funny.

You know how sometimes White House photographers grow weary of photo ops showing the President in intimate conversation with some lucky citizen, so they back up a few steps and shoot the whole forest of boom mikes and TV cameras? Conventional gossip columns are the photo ops. Boldface Names is that wide-angled shot that shows you the stage managers of the gossip world.

But even the most entertaining of adventures have a natural end, and so Boldface will cease after a final riff this Friday. The Times is proud of its run, and grateful for its loyal readers. And we are already devising new adventures.

By the way, conspiracy theorists will undoubtedly connect this with the bonfire at Page Six. For the record, Joe Sexton suggested, and we agreed, that Boldface had run its course several weeks ago, when the current author of the column, Campbell Robertson, began a romance with the Culture Department. More on that story TK.