Another one bites the dust? New York Times religion writer taking his talents to Broadway

Another one bites the dust.

That's how New York Times national religion writer Michael Paulson described the news when the Salt Lake Tribune eliminated its Faith section nearly a year ago:

On Monday, Paulson revealed news of his own:

Fellow religion writers were quick to congratulate Paulson and lament his sudden departure from the Godbeat:

In Paulson's 14 months on the Times' Godbeat — after previously serving as an editor there and a Boston Globe religion writer before that —  I became a fan of his fair, thorough, interesting work, such as this story:

As a fellow Godbeat pro reflected on Paulson changing beats, she noted, "All his stories seemed to be on A1!" That front-page placement reflected, of course, the quality of journalism that he produced.

So, here's my question: To borrow Paulson's own terminology, did another one just bite the dust? Did the Godbeat just lose another star player (a la Bob Smietana at The Tennessean and Abe Levy at the San Antonio Express-News) who won't be replaced?

Yes, the Times has longtime national religion writer Laurie Goodstein, Metro religion writer Sharon Otterman and columnists Samuel G. Freedman and Mark Oppenheimer. 

But that wasn't the question, was it? The Times had all of those wonderful people already. 

We wish Paulson all the best, but — at the risk of sounding like drama queens — losing someone of his caliber from the Godbeat counts as a real blow.

Another one, it seems, bites the dust.

P.S. I mentioned Smietana — who is president of the Religion Newswriters Association — up above. He announced career news of his own Monday. Congrats to him, too, on his exciting new chapter!

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