The End of the Race May Be Near, Per the Wisdom of the Pool
We’re temporarily turning away from the question of “Who will be the next executive editor of The Times?” and focusing instead on “When will the person who succeeds Dean Baquet be announced?”
After a relatively quiet period of succession speculation, the flow of bets in Off the Record’s New York Times betting pool has conformed to familiar patterns, so our A.G. AI 3000 has seen fit to let the betting odds stand. But our quants dug deeper into the data and unearthed another dimension of insight into New York media’s favorite spectator sport. As a potential tie-breaker question, we asked bettors to submit, alongside their bets on candidates, their best guess of when the paper will announce a new executive editor. So today, we’re temporarily turning away from the question of “Who will be the next executive editor of The Times?” and focusing instead on “When will the person who succeeds Dean Baquet be announced?”
Our quants pointed out that the wisdom of the crowd of seems to be coalescing around three spots on the calendar: succession is imminent, or just after the new year, or sometime in the spring.
The nearest estimates, predicting Baquet might leave as soon as this month or next, are probably driven by the fact that he reached the traditional Times retirement age of 65 in September, putting the succession countdown front of mind. But, when discussing The Times’ plans to return to its offices with Off the Record earlier this week, Baquet hinted that he planned to be at The Times after the holidays. “I come to the office at least two or three days a week,” he told us. “I haven’t started coming in every day because the official opening day is not until early next year.”
The official office reopening date has not been set, but the expectation that it is coming early next year aligns neatly with the popular timeframe in our betting pool. This has sparked speculation that a return to the office might factor in publisher A.G. Sulzberger’s mind about the best timing for his first executive editor pick. It is, after all, challenging for anyone to assume a leadership position purely through Zoom. And a video conference, as we’ve all learned by now, falls far short of the kind of pomp and circumstances an outgoing leader like Baquet might want to cap off a successful run at the helm.
The pool will be taking bets until the announcement, but time may be getting short: If you haven’t already, place your bets today. Though the odds haven’t changed since last time, here’s the current table for your wagering reference.
The pool is open to all subscribers, and here’s a recap of the rules: Every subscriber has been given OTR$ 1,000 to wager as you see fit. You can place your bets any time before The Times announces the next executive editor, and all bets will be placed confidentially. Whoever finishes with the most OTR$ bucks wins: three annual subscriptions to gift to your valued colleagues or loved ones, eternal bragging rights, probably some Off the Record swag, and maybe a trophy. Happy betting!