New York Times' Dean Baquet Gives Look at Private Office, Says He Checks Facebook 15 Times a Day

THR_dean_baquet - H 2015
Dustin Cohen

THR_dean_baquet - H 2015

The newspaper's executive editor gives THR a tour his workspace, featuring Creole pottery and contemporary abstract African-American art, for its New York Issue.

This story first appeared in the April 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

When Dean Baquet, 58, sits in his third-floor midtown Manhattan office, he's surrounded by books, Creole pottery (relics from his New Orleans upbringing) and contemporary abstract African-American art from weekend excursions to city galleries. Most days, though, after he gets in at 9 a.m., he's not there. "My goal is to walk around and get a sense of how the day is progressing," checking in with the heads of news desks and meeting about Page 1 for the next day, he says. Though the front of the print edition has taken on less significance, Baquet maintains that "it's still good discipline because it forces leaders to figure out what the biggest stories of the day are."

Baquet, who is kept abreast of what's happening online, may be Twitter-shy, but he considers himself "pretty addicted to Facebook," which he joined to check up on his son Ari, a professional kart racer and USC grad student. Baquet checks Facebook 15 times a day and is fascinated by such discussions as whether the Times' coverage of the French Alps plane crash stigmatized mental illness. Health is a preoccupation for Baquet. Last year, he was diagnosed with cancer and, shortly after being appointed to the top newsroom job, had a tumor removed from his kidney. He's doing well now, but there are fewer trips to Wolfgang's Steakhouse, where Baquet takes editors and reporters for lunch. Still, the newsman has a hard time switching off, even under pressure from his wife, Dylan, at their Greenwich Village house post-8 p.m. "I'm too connected," he says. "Others here are surprised when they get emails from me late at night."

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