The Observer breaks this one:

After guiding The Times through toxic storms and rebuilding our bureau into a dominant force in Washington coverage, Phil Taubman is returning to his first love, the correspondent's life. Phil has chosen a new mission that capitalizes on his deep experience as a foreign correspondent, investigative reporter, military historian and editor.He will be taking on a special reporting assignment in the area of national security... He will also be promoted to Associate Editor—a title previously worn by one Times journalist, Johnny Apple. It signifies both Phil's stature as a counselor to the masthead and our expectation that he will return to senior management in the future.

And who will be filling Phil's slot? Step forward Dean Baquet, the former Timesman most recently seen exiting the top job at the LAT. Way to take one for the team, Phil!

Dean Baquet Returns to the Times as D.C. Bureau Chief [NYO]

Earlier: Gawker's coverage of Dean Baquet