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ink-stained wretches

Times Reporter Jim Rutenberg Gets to Spend the Summer in the Hamptons for Money

Pedestrians pass in front of the New York Times Co. building in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, said more than 100,000 people signed up for new digital subscriptions, a sign online revenue may help offset a decline in print advertising and circulation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It could be much, much worse: Veteran New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg will take a break from hard-hitting national political coverage to enjoy the reportorial spoils of the Hamptons, in the grand tradition of landing a cushy gig after surviving a presidential election. "It's a place where the beauty of the late-afternoon summertime sun is matched only by the wealth of those who can afford to enjoy it," the paper's new "Metro" editor Wendell Jamieson announced in a memo today. "But there are darker stories amid the hedgerows and former potato fields, and Jim will cover them all – from mega-mansions to horse shows; from the well-off to the striving immigrant community; from battles over favorite surfing spots to explorations of just what it means today to spend the summer, or even a tiny part of it, on the far side of the Shinnecock Canal. [...] (I suspect there will be some reporting from a surfboard.)" The full dream-job announcement is below, but like most Hamptons reveries, it comes with a Labor Day expiration date.

Folks:

A familiar Times byline will return to Metro for the summer, with a special beat. Jim Rutenberg, political reporter and digger extraordinaire, will head east to cover the Hamptons.

It’s a place where the beauty of the late-afternoon summertime sun is matched only by the wealth of those who can afford to enjoy it. But there are darker stories amid the hedgerows and former potato fields, and Jim will cover them all – from mega-mansions to horse shows; from the well-off to the striving immigrant community; from battles over favorite surfing spots to explorations of just what it means today to spend the summer, or even a tiny part of it, on the far side of the Shinnecock Canal. It’s going to be a lot of fun for us, and perhaps for him. (I suspect there will be some reporting from a surfboard.)

I have known Jim since we worked together at The Daily News in the mid-1990s. Since joining The Times he’s been a media writer, campaign reporter, City Hall bureau chief, White House correspondent, national political correspondent and investigative reporter – hey, all the training necessary for covering the political intrigue at East Hampton Town Hall. (I’m entirely serious.) The beat will expire, as does most summer fun, around Labor Day.

Some of Jim’s Hamptons stories will be appearing in Styles. And he’ll keep his hand in some very ambitious Washington reporting. Special thanks to Matt Purdy and the folks in Washington for generously helping us make this happen.

Please join me in welcoming (back) our new East Ender.

Cheers,

Wendell

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Photo: Bloomberg/2011 Bloomberg