Longtime 'NYT' Ad Columnist Stuart Elliott Retires, Successor TBD

Stuart Elliott has covered many record-breaking stories during his 23-plus years at The New York Times: record advertising account wins, record Super Bowl commercial prices, record agency merger deals -- and at least one failed one.

But when he announced his retirement on Facebook this morning, Elliott set a record of his own, becoming the longest-running ad columnist ever to serve at the Times, beating previous record-holder Phil Dougherty by more than a year.

That’s ad industry news for several reasons, not the least of which is the importance the Times’ ad column has held for the ad industry.

As Madison Avenue’s hometown paper, the column has frequently served as the industry’s “newspaper of record” for breaking important stories, or at the very least, for putting them in definitive perspective.

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In breaking his news, Elliott did not, however, scoop anything about his successor, but it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, the Times names its next ad columnist, given the rapidly changing nature of the ad industry, and the way it gathers its news.

Tellingly, Elliott broke his own story via social media.

When Elliott became the paper’s ad columnist in May 1991, the Internet was still in its infancy and the World Wide Web, much less social networks, blogs, microblogs, and even Google, weren’t even a gleam in the eye of their inventors.

Given the sexual politics that have raged at the Times in recent years, it will also be interesting to see how the paper weighs gender as a factor in Elliott’s successor. Previous ad columnists, including such luminaries as Backer & Spielvogel founder Carl Spielvogel, Interactive Advertising Bureau chief Randall Rothenberg, and longtime Hollywood editor and player Peter Bart, were all men.


8 comments about "Longtime 'NYT' Ad Columnist Stuart Elliott Retires, Successor TBD".
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  1. Walter Sabo from SABO media, December 3, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.

    Elliott is a real journalist who happens to cover advertising. He is a brilliant, curious eccentric and he will be missed. I have total respect for him

  2. Aidan Bradley Murphy from OwnerIQ, December 3, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.

    A great columnist who will be missed in the industry.
    Good luck, Stuart, it was a pleasure working with you over the years.

  3. Steve Ellwanger from Marketing Daily, December 3, 2014 at 2:20 p.m.

    Can't say enough good things about Stuart. Class act, great guy.

  4. Barbara Lippert from mediapost.com, December 3, 2014 at 2:32 p.m.

    Stuart is honest, hard working, funny, and clever. An unbeatable combo!

  5. John Wolfe from ANA, December 3, 2014 at 4:11 p.m.

    I've known Stuart for almost 30 years, ever since we worked together at Advertising Age in the 1980s. He's a total pro and a great guy. His column will be missed by many. Good luck for the future, Stuart, whatever it may bring.

  6. Cathy Taylor from MediaPost, December 3, 2014 at 4:40 p.m.

    Stuart has a one of a kind voice. Let's hope he uses it elsewhere;)

    Cathy

  7. pj bednarski from MediaPost.com, December 4, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.

    The New York Times loses a lot without Stuart Elliott or Bill Carter, who's also leaving. They are great people who have passion for what they do, long before "having passion" was such a bull crap expression.

  8. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, December 4, 2014 at 1:06 p.m.

    Let me add that it is rare for a journalist to qualify as an "institution" (and I mean that in a good way), but Stuart Elliott definitely achieved that. It's a huge loss for the NYTs, the ad industry and this reader.

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