CONSOLATION PRIZE?: Apparently it’s all in the family at The New York Times.
The newspaper has named David Perpich, the nephew of chairman and publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., as president and general manager of The Wirecutter. In October, Sulzberger’s 36-year-old son A.G. was elevated to deputy publisher, reporting to his father. At the time, there were reports that there had been three candidates for the job as heir apparent to “Pinch” Sulzberger — and Perpich was one of them. The other was A.G. Sulzberger’s and Perpich’s cousin, Sam Dolnick (let’s see what job he ends up with).
Back to Perpich, who previously served as senior vice president of product, and who will now lead the business and editorial operations of the site, which was acquired by The Gray Lady in October for an undisclosed sum.
Perpich will begin his new job at the product-review site on March 5 and report to Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the Times Co. He will also join the company’s executive committee.
“Since joining the Times in 2010, David has become known as much for his strategic vision and sound judgment as for his collaborative work ethic and dedication to strengthening ties across the organization,” Thompson said. “He has been one of our most creative, effective and entrepreneurial leaders, with a keen ability to spot new opportunities. He was a key part of the team that launched our extraordinarily successful digital subscription model in 2011. Since then he has played a critical role in our product development efforts, in building a talented team dedicated to producing best-in-class products and services, and helping to shape the company’s overarching strategy.”
On Tuesday, the Times released its 2020 strategy report, underlining the importance of new service-focused initiatives, such as The Wirecutter, as a means to engage a younger, digitally focused audience.
The site, which was founded in 2011 by technology journalist Brian Lam, a former editor at Gizmodo and Wired, generates revenue primarily through affiliate links. In other words, the site earns money by offering direct links to retailers in exchange for a share of the sale of products it recommends. Retailers span from Amazon to smaller, niche shops.
The Times has expressed interest in better integrating The Wirecutter into other sections of the paper.
Prior to holding the role of senior vice president of product, Perpich served as general manager of new digital products, which is now called NYT Beta. He led the team charged with the creation of products including NYT Now, Cooking and Crosswords, according to the Times.
He joined the family newspaper in 2010 as executive director of Paid Products, responsible for the relaunch of the Times’ digital subscription business. Before that, he worked at management consulting firm Booz & Co., where he was a member of their consumer, media and digital industries practice, focusing on growth strategy. The executive also founded and ran two companies in the music industry and held roles in product management and business development at About.com, which had been owned by The New York Times Co.