(Adds background on A.G. Sulzberger)
By Daniel Trotta
NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The New York Times on Thursday
named a new publisher in 37-year-old A.G. Sulzberger, a
fifth-generation descendant of Times leaders whose internal
report on innovation has guided a newspaper known as "The Gray
Lady" into the digital era.
His father, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., 66, will retire as
publisher on Dec. 31 but remain chairman of the board, the New
York Times Co said.
The younger Sulzberger will also join the board at a time of
disruption in the media business, when the newspaper faces
frequent criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump against the
"failing @nytimes" on Twitter.
The company's 2016 revenue of $1.5 billion was less than
half of what it had been a decade before, largely due to the
decline in print, but its rapidly growing digital revenue has
become an industry model.
Into that crucible steps Sulzberger, who has long been
groomed for a major role at a business his family has owned
"I am an unapologetic champion for this institution and its
journalistic mission," Sulzberger said in the Times' news report
on his ascension. "And I'll continue to be that as publisher."
He also pledged stability in the early stages of the
transition, saying, "I don't expect there to be some flurry of
The elder Sulzberger joined The Times in 1978 as a
correspondent, and his son, too, was assigned to the newsroom.
A.G. Sulzberger worked as a reporter at The Providence
Journal and The Oregonian before joining The Times' metro desk
He compiled more than 160 bylines on the Metro desk and
another 170 as a national correspondent based in Kansas City,
according a 2016 New York Times profile when he had been named
"But perhaps the most important piece of writing that A.G.
Sulzberger did for The New York Times before Wednesday — when he
was named deputy publisher — was not an article and was not
published in The Times, but was all about The Times," the paper
wrote, citing a so-called innovation report released in May
Sulzberger led a committee to produce the in-depth analysis
that said The Times risked losing its stature as a media leader
unless it made sweeping changes.
"It's fair to say that of all the legacy publishing
companies, the digital efforts of The New York Times have been
far and way the most successful," said Doug Arthur, an analyst
at Huber Research Partners who covers The New York Times Co.
"Digital subscription revenues will overtake print advertising
as a percentage of revenues this quarter."
In the third quarter, the company added about 154,000
subscribers to various websites, boosting its online subscribers
base to 2.5 million.
Digital advertising revenue rose 11 percent to $49.2 million
in the third quarter, accounting for about 43 percent of its
total advertising revenue. Times said its executives were
expecting at least $800 million in digital revenue by 2020,
which would double what the company earned in 2014.
Sulzberger Jr. has been publisher of The Times since 1992
and chairman of the board since 1997. He led the transition into
a digital media company, taking the newspaper online in 1996.
The print addition has about 600,000 subscribers during the week
and 1.1 million on Sunday.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Additional reporting
by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York;
Editing by Richard Chang)
First Published: 2017-12-14 19:09:03
Updated 2017-12-14 22:44:28
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