Editors at the New York Times have decided to eliminate regional editions of the Sunday Metropolitan section, including the New Jersey edition.
Metro Editor Wendell Jamieson broke the news to writers and reviewers for the section in an email this week. A member of the communications team for the New York Times confirmed the changes in an email to Planet Princeton this morning.
After August 28, the Metropolitan section will no longer include zoned reviews and features for the New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut editions. Instead those regions will receive the Metropolitan edition that currently circulates in the five boroughs of the city. Several years ago, the New York Times had a separate New Jersey section on the weekend that was later folded into the Metropolitan section. The zoned edition includes features, regional arts coverage, restaurant reviews and calendar listings for New Jersey.
Editors considered cutting the zoned content two years ago. Jamieson wrote that the realities of the business and the future of the New York Times now make the move necessary.
In an interview with Politico in June, Jamieson said the New York Times would be revamping the metro section. “I’m trying to reimagine coverage of what I believe is the greatest city in the world as part of a global news organization,” he told Politico. “How do you cover New York differently when you’re covering it for the world as well as local readers?”
The full memo:
The back-of-the-book reviews and features in Metropolitan are not only charming and smartly done, but they have long been a great service to our local readers, and evidence of our roots in and around New York City. Many of you are part of the Times family: your work has always been prized and appreciated by editors and readers alike.
But Dean Baquet and I have decided that the resources and energy currently devoted to these local pages could be better directed elsewhere. Therefore, we will publish our final reviews and features in the New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut editions on August 28. The Metropolitan section as it appears in New York City will still be published and circulated throughout the region, but it will no longer include zoned content.
We did not make this decision lightly. Indeed, it was considered and rejected two years ago. But the realities of our business — and our future — have now made this measure necessary.
All stories booked to run this month will still be used, and full fees will be paid for any that get crowded out. Any expenses already incurred for stories set to appear after August will of course be reimbursed. In certain cases, we’ll pay kill fees if reporting has been done on post-August stories, too. Steve Bell, Hilary Howard and I will review any such cases.
Sorry about this, folks. I want to thank you for all you’ve done, all the fine writing you’ve given our readers. I wish you all the best.