After finishing college in 1991, Rutenberg began working for the New York Daily News as a gossip stringer. He eventually worked his way up to becoming a general assignment reporter. In 1996, he was hired on staff and became a transit beat reporter. He left the Daily News in 1999 to work as a TV reporter for The New York Observer. One year later, he began working for The New York Times, where he was responsible for covering media and local politics. He has also served as City Hall Bureau Chief, and later as chief political correspondent for the Sunday magazine. In January 2016 he was named media columnist. In January 2020, he became a writer at large for The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine.
Rutenberg is married to designer Ondine Karady.
- "Planet Fox", with Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times Magazine
- "Jim Rutenberg". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 16, 2016. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- "Jim Rutenberg". Center for Communication. 2005. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved 2017-02-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Somaiya, Ravi (January 12, 2016). "New York Times Names New Media Columnist". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
- "New Role for Jim Rutenberg". The New York Times Company. 2020-01-22. Retrieved 2020-08-03.
- Trounson, Rebecca (November 13, 2020). "Anderson School of Management announces 2020 Loeb Award winners in business journalism" (Press release). UCLA Anderson School of Management. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
- Mahler, Jonathan; Rutenberg, Jim (April 3, 2019). "Part 1: Imperial Reach". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
- Mahler, Jonathan; Rutenberg, Jim (April 3, 2019). "Part 2: Internal Divisions". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
- Mahler, Jonathan; Rutenberg, Jim (April 3, 2019). "Part 3: The New Fox Weapon". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2020.