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Dean Baquet: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore the routines, schedules, habits and typical day in their life.

American journalist Dean Baquet either has the best job in the world or the worst job in the world. It depends on how you look at it.

He is the Executive Editor of The New York Times, one of the most successful and prestigious media brands in history; a publication that’s continuing to thrive with growing digital subscriptions and global headlines.

He is also the Executive Editor of The New York Times during a time when the President of the United States has attacked the newspaper for reporting false news and branded the publication “a true enemy of the people.”

He’s [Trump] been hugely challenging. I don’t think we’ve ever had somebody who in my time as a journalist so openly lies, and that was a word that we struggled to actually utter.

DEAN BAQUET DOESN’T THINK DONALD TRUMP IS THE MEDIA’S FAULT | SLATE

It’s all about perspective. Regardless of how you look at it, Baquet has faced arguably faced tougher battles in the past, albeit, on a smaller scale.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, Baquet became first black Executive Editor at The Times when he was promoted in 2014, after his boss, Jill Abramson, was suddenly fired.

Then a few weeks after he got the top job, Baquet was lifting weights in the gym when he felt pain in his back. A visit to the doctors revealed a malignant tumor on his kidney. On 16 June 2014, a memo from Baquet went around to the Times staff to let them know that his surgery had been a success and he would be back in the office promptly.

As the Executive Editor, Baquet not only has to spend a majority of his time in the newsroom overseeing the editorial operations, he needs to keep an eye out on the business side as well.

“What all executive editors in this era have to do is balance the demands of being a little bit of a business executive with the most important demand—which is to lead the newsroom,” he explained to WWD.

“That is the hardest day-to-day job. There are demands on me, as there should be, from the business side of the paper, but I am the leader of the newsroom. Executive editors who stumble, stumble in managing that balance.”

Baquet overseeing the morning meeting at the New York Times. (Photo credit: The Fourth Estate/Showtime)

In a 2016 interview with Slate, Baquet described a typical day in his life to Isaac Chotiner:

Here’s a typical day. I wake up at about 6:30 or 6:15. First, I look at the phone to see what I missed from overnight and then I read the New York Times very thoroughly in print. I often spend the morning sending emails to desks about coverage. I get in usually about 9:15, and my first and most important meeting of the day is the 9:30 news meeting, which I sort of co-chair if you will, and we talk about coverage, and we talk about stories. Then the day sort of varies wildly. There are days when I get to just go from desk to desk and talk about stories and coverage, and there are days when I spend a couple of hours with the publisher talking about other stuff that’s not related to news.

Dean Baquet Doesn’t Think Donald Trump Is the Media’s Fault | Slate

After work, he’s usually home by 8pm to spend time with his wife, author Dylan Landis who he’s been married to since 1986 after a wedding ceremony in her parents’ backyard.

Though he hasn’t touched alcohol in over 20 years, after watching his older brother Edward struggle with alcoholism, Baquet and Dylan had a tradition of have evening walks around Greenwich Village while smoking cigars; a nighttime routine they stopped after finding out about his cancer.

My personal goal is to make The New York Times the best investigative-enterprise news organization in the world. That is what I care about. I would like us to be a great, hard-hitting, enterprise-driven news organization, day in and day out, that people have to read, that really pushes powerful institutions and asks them hard questions. That is my journalistic goal. We are good at it.

M: Editor in Charge — Dean Baquet Takes Charge of The New York Times Newsroom | WWD

Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

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