Brink, 49, will take over the Times’ opinion journalism on June 1, becoming only the fourth person in 56 years to serve in the role. He has spent the past two years as the Times’ business columnist.
“I am deeply pleased that the next person to lead that work is a journalist of Graham’s experience, talent and values,” Paul C. Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times, said Wednesday in a companywide announcement.
Brink joined the Times in 1997 as a reporting intern in local news and worked all over the bay area, including covering federal courts in Tampa. After 10 years of reporting, Brink became an editor, leading the business staff and the local news staff through numerous big stories: the Great Recession, hurricanes, multiple police shootings and government corruption.
As the business columnist, Brink has put “the Times at the center of important conversations about the local economy, development, technology and the workforce,” Tash said. Brink’s columns during the coronavirus pandemic have held Florida officials accountable over the broken unemployment benefits system.
“I’m both excited and humbled to take on this important role,” Brink said. “In these difficult times, our independent spirit is needed now more than ever.”
A Canada native, Brink graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and earned his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He lives in the Old Southeast neighborhood of St. Petersburg with his wife, Nicole, and 9-year-old son, Anders.
Nickens has been the editor of editorials since 2008, winning a Pulitzer Prize with Daniel Ruth for editorial writing that helped put fluoride treatments back into Pinellas County’s drinking water.