Campbell Robertson used to have what seemed to be the most fun job at the New York Times: writing Boldface Names with crazy Joyce Wadler. Then the Times killed that bizarre little corner of the Metro section and Campbell was sent to the Broadway beat. Recently, though, he's ended up on the campaign trail, where he apparently been drawing funny pictures. In the last week, the Times has brought us three installments of Robertson's funny pictures from his trip to North Carolina, where he's been talking to voters and attending campaign events and, uh, cartooning. Doesn't the Times already have professional cartoonists on staff? Is Robertson auditioning to illustrate an issue of American Splendor? We love him, but surely there are plenty of other "occasional cartoonists" on staff they could send to upcoming primary states. Adam Nagourney's might be pretty funny. He probably draws everyone with really big heads and tiny mopeds!
A quick check-in to complete the death-of-Boldface storyline: As hinted by Bill Keller's memo announcing the demise of the Times's meta-gossip column, and as widely rumored among the sorts of people who bother to think about such things, erstwhile Boldfacer Campbell Robertson has indeed taken over the Broadway-reporting beat recently vacated by California-bound Jesse McKinley. Robertson started in the job at the start of this week, but his first Broadway byline is still TK. Better get cracking, Robertson — at this rate it'll be years till you can finagle a free redesign of your apartment.
To commemorate the passing of the Times's sorta-gossip column, Boldface, we asked HuffPoster Rachel Sklar — the Fishbowl vet who is both perhaps the column's biggest fan and also the president of the Lower East Side branch of the Campbell Robertson fan club — to reflect on the greatest Boldface moments of yore. Cue The Way We Were, and then take it away, Rachel:
Today, as promised, is the final installment of the Times' Boldface column. Some say it's dying because the Metro editors were tired of it; some say it's dying because Mrs. Keller, the gin heiress, doesn't like it; some say it's dying because Campbell Robertson, the column's author, has starry-eyed dreams of the Great White Way. (He'll go out there a youngster, but we have no doubt he'll come back a star.) In his farewell column, however, young Campbell provides his own explanation:
Bill Keller makes it official this morning: Boldface, the Times kinda-sorta gossip column, will end its amusing and sometimes awkward run Friday. (Related question: What is this damned column actually called? In the current design of the Metro section, it's clearly slugged as merely "Boldface." People refer to it as "Boldface Names," which we assumed that was a mere vestigial holdover from previous layouts, when the column actually bore that title. But now Keller is calling it "Boldface Names" as well, and one would assume he knows. So maybe B2 simply gets the name wrong, and we're wrong to follow B2's lead? We have no idea.) Keller also confirms that bearded Boldfacer Campbell Robertson is having "a romance with the Culture Department," which we're taking to mean his rumored move to the Broadway-reporting beat is in fact in the offing. We've asked Campbell for comment; we hope to have something appropriately witty and narrative — perhaps with a showtunes reference! — shortly.
Not quite enough news about gossip for you these days? Then throw this into the mix: Gawker has learned Variety will report in tomorrow's newspaper that the Times is set to shutter its quasi-gossip column, Boldface. Even better, we understand the report is accurate. No word yet on when the column will see its last day, nor on what will become of Wilmer Valderrama-fancying Boldfacer Campbell Robertson, who last we heard — months ago — was slated to become a regional education reporter for the paper. (It has yet to happen, and most recently we were hearing rumors that he'd be moving from the Metro desk to Culture, where he'd take over Jesse McKinley's theater-reporting beat.) For now, at least, Robertson seems to be assigned exclusively to Page Six coverage — today's Boldface carried a different byline — and so we imagine he'll be busy there for some time. Auntie Joyce Wadler's Columbia J-School Young'un, on the other hand, it seems will not be so fortunate. Which, come to think of it, sounds just about right for a j-school young'un.
Campbell Robertson boldly sums up the year and drops a Rafael Palmiero steroid reference within spitting distance of Martha Stewart. Great job, even if he was forced to rhyme Katrina and Angelina. An excerpt: