Frank Rich, former theatre critic of The New York Times will write longer but less frequent columns and essays for the paper’s Op-Ed Page, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr announced Feb. 1
Rich, who was chief critic for 13 years beginning in 1980, will now write a 1,400-word piece for the Op-Ed page every other Saturday rather than a twice weekly 700-word piece. He will also become a regular contributor The Times Magazine. His Op-Ed columns began in January 1994.
The paper announced that the reassignment was in response to Rich’s desire to write more than the 700-word format would allow.
Joseph Lelyveld, the executive editor, was quoted in The Times’ Feb. 2 edition saying, Rich would “continue to be a major cultural critic in every possible sense.”
Rich’s 700-word columns will appear to Feb. 13. He will take a four-month leave to finish a memoir (he called it “novelistic” in an interview last fall) for Random House. He returns in June. Rich’s negative theatre reviews work earned him the title, “The Butcher of Broadway,” during his 1980-1993 reign at The Times. Last fall, Random House published a collection of his reviews and essays, “Hot Seat.”
-- By Kenneth Jones