Well, that's just a damned shame.
I shudder to think at what sort of wingnut trogg is being lined up to replace him. After all, their last big hire was Douthat, wasn't it? And THAT guy has proven himself as someone who would would be over his head in a local alt-weekly, let alone the Times.
But, hey, it's a brave new world where the entire media revolves around keeping the New Robber Barons happy. And it IS the New York Times, after all. Now that we know that Wall Street will be permitted to continue it's inexorable climb to 100% of (quasi-legitimate) GDP, I imagine they'll soon have little choice.
Edit: Yes, that is completely unfair. And, yes, they may hire a progressive. If they do, great! It's just that I'm not expecting it.
Then again, I think they should hire digby, now that she's no longer pseudonymous and all. So I might be especially biased that way.