After a 45-year career at the NYT, where he most recently served for five years as Southwest bureau chief based in Houston, Ralph Blumenthal confirmed to The NYTPicker that he has accepted the paper's buyout offer.
"It is correct," Blumenthal, now a metro reporter, told The NYTPicker via email. "I've had a long and fulfilling career at The Times. The offer of a buyout has spurred me to move on to some book projects and other challenges.
Blumenthal has had a storied career at the NYT that has included five books, including his most recent on Lewis Lawes, the warden of Sing Sing, for which Blumenthal got a Guggenheim fellowship. "Miracle at Sing Sing" was published by St. Martin’s in June of 2004.
Blumenthal reported for the NYT on numerous beats, including culture and crime, and covered the war in Vietnam for the paper from 1968 to 1971. In 1993 he led the NYT's coverage of the World Trade Center bombing, which earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize; in 1994 he won the Worth Bingham Prize for distinguished investigative reporting for stories on airline safety.
The buyout list at the NYT continues to grow; last night it was reported via a tweet by the New York Post's Joel Sherman that Jack Curry, the NYT's national baseball correspondent, had also accepted the NYT's buyout terms.
The list will grow, and its ranks will be joined later this week by those laid off by NYT management. Those decisions will be made on merit, as recently made clear to the staff by executive editor Bill Keller.