New York Times business editor Ellen Pollock sent out the following announcement on Thursday:
I’m pleased to announce that Sapna Maheshwari has switched beats and is now covering retail. Some of you will be scratching your heads: Didn’t Sapna switch gigs in, like, March?
Yes! But Sapna’s move has literally given me a case of writer’s block. My first, ever. You see Sapna is the queen of puns. Before joining the Times in 2016, Sapna won a Punderdrome 3000 competition, playing under the name Punzi Scheme.
So I have come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t try to beat Sapna at her own game, and will play it straight in this email.
Sapna joined The Times in August 2016 as an advertising reporter, and says she decided to leave the beat because she needed a “commercial break.” While covering advertising, she did a series of stories that exposed how technology companies were taking the personal data of consumers, without their knowing it. So it is fair to say that, in addition to being a skilled writer, she is a righter–of wrongs. She also detailed how YouTube Kids was showing awful videos to children,
Sapna was one of the few reporters at The TImes who was happy when open desks replaced cubicles. “I like to think out of the box,” she said.
Before joining The Times, Sapna was a business reporter at BuzzFeed for about three years and prior to that she worked at Bloomberg News, where she also covered retail.
In her short time back on the beat, she has brought energy and verve to the world of the consumer. Check out her look inside Everlane. My shopping trips with my kid may soon change forever and Sapna has given me a big heads up.
Sapna’s old pod mates in media miss her, but her new colleagues on the other side of the room are in for a treat. They may think her jokes are cheesy, but they’re actually kind of grate. They are likely learning that she’s never afraid to crack a yolk, even if it may leave her with egg on her face.
So please join me in welcoming Sapna to the world of retail.
Ellen (with a healthy assist from Jim Windolf)