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Remember the consolidation of the Times regional sections we mentioned before? Apparently, it's not going so well. Sure, providing the same stories for New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut might make economic sense, but West Orange guidos are completely different from Bayshore guidos, and there's no way a single piece can do justice to the rich palette of tones and colors that those two divergent groups display. In any event, folks at the NYT have realized this, and restored some local reporting.

More importantly - dare we say, revolutionarily - Jennifer Preston has been appointed editor of the Regionals. Who is Jennifer Preston? Why, only the greatest patriot The Times has ever had! After the jump aux armes, citoyens, as you enjoy Joe Sexton's memo about the appointment. If it doesn't have you singing the New York Times anthem ("Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos") by the end, well, then, you, are a disgrace to your paper.

May 11, 2006

Revolutionary Appointment

Jennifer Preston will be the editor of the new Regional Weeklies.

The re-imagination and re-design of the Regional Weeklies is, well, pretty close to revolutionary. So, to lead it, we decided why not go with a true New York Times patriot?

Jennifer Preston the irrepressible, unconquerable, utterly loyal Jennifer Preston will be the editor of the new weekly sections. Jennifer, who has served Bill Schmidt and the rest of the newsroom with great generosity and humanity for the last seven years, is thus returning to her first love: journalism, in all its sprawling, demanding, thrilling and evolving forms.

"As anyone knows who has ever gone to Jennifer for help navigating some problem or personnel challenge, she is a wonderful listener and an amazing problem solver,'' Schmidt said. "Jennifer will be missed. That being said, she gets to go back and do journalism. We miss her, and truth be told, we envy her, too."

Jennifer is a complete newswoman a City Hall bureau chief and deputy metro editor for New York Newsday, a Trenton bureau chief for The Times, a thorn in the side of Koch, Dinkins and Whitman and, on top of that, a biographer of Bess Myerson. She is a resident of the region parent, taxpayer, commuter. She's a sucker for a good crime tale and a suburban trend story, too. She is a student of politics and a veritable professor when it comes to the question of the circulation challenges the paper faces in the New York region.

This new experiment complete with shared stories, new columnists, zoned pages and giant ambitions is lucky to have Jennifer as its brave steward.

Her first order of business will be to recruit staff reporters to get involved in the new section's most ambitious stories, and she will be fearless in her recruitment efforts. She will also have my complete support in those efforts.

It will take Jennifer some time to catch up to the trailblazing Connie Rosenblum, who, somehow and with our everlasting thanks, has brought such a committed and creative mind to the early devising of this adventurous new section. Look for Jennifer to take over the driver's seat in July, and then, of course, look out.

Joe Sexton