On Monday, at its blog Media Decoder, media giant The New York Times announced Frank Bruni would become the paper's first openly gay op-ed columnist.

Bruni ascended to the post after more than 15 years working in the trenches of the paper. He was named the paper's chief restaurant critic in 2004.

“I'm excited and really grateful,” Bruni, 46, said. “At The Times and beforehand, I've been lucky to be able to write about many different topics, and I'm eager to take on a job that will allow me to range across most or all of them in a reflective, analytical and sometimes – I hope – spirited way.”

The upcoming column's substance isn't fixed, said Andrew Rosenthal, editor of the paper's opinion pages.

It will be “a sharp, opinionated look at a big event of the last week, from a different or unexpected angle, or a small event that was really important but everyone seems to have missed, or something entirely different.”

The Times has been in operation 160 years.