NYTimes needs new critic as Sam Sifton moves to national desk

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Sam Sifton, the restaurant critic at the New York Times for the past two years, is stepping down from his post to accept a newly freed up position running the national desk for the paper. With just 25 months on the job, he may have had the shortest tenure as the paper’s full time restaurant critic.

Certain readers (the fans of his poetic, overly referential prose), restaurateurs (Tom Colicchio for one), and chefs may be saddened, others will rejoice, and all restaurants across the city can take down the most wanted signs, bulls-eyes, and pirate doodles. Now it’s time for the question: who should be next? There are some excellent early suggestions here, but remember, Pete Wells threw a bit of a curve ball last time around.

Diner’s Journal runs the memo from Executive Editor Jill Abramson:

Sam Sifton will be our new National editor. From his star runs at Dining and Culture, we all know that Sam is a superb editor who brings infectious energy and a host of original ideas, digital and print, to everything he touches. Correspondents and critics adore him. So who better to fill the shoes of Rick Berke? Sam’s background here isn’t hard news, but we all saw the newsiness and urgency he brought to the Culture report. He takes over a superb desk that flawlessly handles the fastest-breaking and challenging news stories. This will be very sad news to his devoted fans as our brilliant dining critic, but Sam, a lover of regional food, looks forward to dining adventures with the National correspondents. It will be thrilling to watch him apply his editing and writing talents to the National report.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.