I had criticized the Times for relegating the first Atlantic Yards op-ed, as well as editorials, to the City section, given that the issue is of interest well beyond the five boroughs and also involves state subsidies.
Keep in mind that a year ago, the Times cut the editorial and op-ed pages of the City section after three and a half years. So, given the consolidation of the regional sections, even if there is space for editorials/op-eds (and I doubt it), there'd be less room for commentary on issues like AY.
Last week, in the Times's Talk to the Newsroom feature, a reader asked about The End of the City Section.
— Rosanne Alberts
A. I posed your question to Jodi Rudoren, the deputy metropolitan editor who will be running our new Sunday metropolitan section:
Many of us in the newsroom, too, are sad to see The City section go. The City, along with parallel weekly sections that circulate in New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut, had terrific ground-level neighborhood coverage, wonderful photography and interesting non-Times writers that brought different voices into our pages. That said, it always seemed a bit strange to some of us that local coverage was scattered in different places on Sundays — and that so much of it was only available in print to narrow slices of our audience.
The decision to close these sections was driven largely by costs, but we are seizing the opportunity to invent a splashy new Sunday section that we hope will retain the best of The City and the regional weeklies while experimenting with new storytelling forms. It is conceived as a magazine-style feature section, with deep narratives and columns, as well as highly visual graphics, interviews and neighborhood guides, and will be a writing showcase for some of our biggest talents. One in 8 Million, our hugely popular audio and photo series about individual New York characters, will be migrating from the Friday paper to the new Sunday section, where it will get a bigger display. We'll also be trying out some unconventional ideas, and stretching our own boundaries a bit every week. Some of these new features will also have related content online and on City Room.
While nobody is happy to lose The City, we are quite excited about what we're creating. We hope you will become a dedicated reader. And that you will let us know what you like, what you don't, and what you'd like to see instead.
Well, I don't doubt that there will be some improvement, but, given the lower number of pages, it has to be a net loss, with a higher threshold for coverage and only "bigger" regional stories making the cut.