MacIntyre for Parliament as Coles stays in New York

MacIntyre

 New York correspondent Joanna Coles has turned down the role of The Times’ next parliamentary sketchwriter.

She is to become features editor of New York magazine.

Coles saw Times editor Peter Stothard six weeks ago and had "a long, agonised talk" with him about it.

Instead, Matthew Parris’s successor will be ex-Washington bureau chief Ben MacIntyre, who returned to Wapping a month ago.

He will start his dissection of Parliament at the turn of the year.

Coles said: "It just seemed I was ready for a change. I wanted to stop writing – I have been doing it for 20 years – and do editing. The sketchwriter’s job was the only one that would have tempted me back to London, but we’ve been here four years and it felt like my New York experience wasn’t quite over."

She also feels frustrated at being a foreign correspondent. She said: "It’s almost as though you have got your nose pressed up against the window, that you are not inside."

At New York, edited by Caroline Miller, Coles will be responsible for The Well, a section of long investigative pieces, profiles and personalities.

She said London had no equivalent – "no magazine which captures the city".

One of the things which helped make up her mind was reading Andrew Rawnsley’s book, Servants of the People. She was "slightly put off the people at Westminster", she said.

"One wonders if one wants to be in their company day in and day out."

She was not daunted at the thought of having to be witty on a daily basis, more that it would be like "doing a theatre review with the same cast of characters". She is now looking forward to "having lunch with Donald Trump one day and in the Bronx the next."

Coles went to New York for The Guardian and joined The Times a year later.

MacIntyre is currently writing features across the paper and continuing his Saturday op ed column. The decision on his new position was made last week.

He joined the paper a decade ago as New York correspondent, and in 1995 went to Paris before returning to the US to head the Washington bureau.

lRoger Wood, whose job as deputy managing editor of The Times disappeared in a restructure of the managing editor’s department, has quit the company with a settlement. He had been with the newspaper since 1980 but had not been in the office since the end of June.

 

By Jean Morgan

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