NEW YORK — The New York Times Co. Tuesday agreed to buy the 50 percent stake in the Paris-based International Herald Tribune it does not already own.The deal ends an 11-year joint ownership of the paper between The Times and The Washington Post Co. A spokeswoman for the Times said that the company will be paying The Post less than $75 million for the acquisition.The spokeswoman also said that The Times does not expect changes in the staff of the 340-person IHT, contrary to a report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal that indicated The Times might seek to convert it into an international edition of The Times. The IHT has a circulation of 264,000 and has expanded its readership by 25 percent in the last two years, although advertising has dropped as a result of the downturn in global financial industries and reduced travel since Sept. 11, 2001. The purchase comes at a time when The Times Co. is rapidly expanding its scope. The company currently publishes 16 newspapers, including The Boston Globe; owns eight network-affiliated television stations, andrecently invested $100 million with Discovery Communications to launch a cable television offshoot of the Discovery Channel called Discovery Civilization Channel. Also in Times news, the company announced Tuesday that the Arts & Leisure desk would switch editors. Steven Erlanger, the paper’s Berlin bureau chief, will take over as cultural news editor. He replaces John Darnton, who will become associate editor for special projects. The move was yet another major change by the paper’s new executive editor Howell Raines, who has been making aggressive staff moves at The Times since he took over in 2001.

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