In some cases, yes, the editors make those choices -- it depends on the publication and their particular structure. But the question I think you're really asking is why NYC publications don't cover the Pennsylvania Ballet. For papers like the Post and the Observer, it's pretty clear that their mandate is to cover work in NYC -- they may venture out of the area for extraordinary events, but I'm sure they feel that there is already a significant amount of work being done in their own territory that they don't cover simply because they don't have the space for it.
For papers like the NYT, and to a certain extent the Wall Street Journal, they do have a wider territory. The NYT in particular does support Macaulay traveling to see work outside NYC, but again, their primary responsibility is the dance community in New York.
The mechanics of how stories get assigned vary, but the decision about what gets covered is pretty consistent -- their home beat is their first priority. Nowadays, there isn't much room to go beyond that.