The New York Times wants more international readers – and advertisers – and it’s spending $50 million over the next three years to boost its overseas reach.
Chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., president and chief executive officer Mark Thompson and executive editor Dean Baquet issued a memo to staff Thursday unveiling the newspaper’s international digital growth team.
“The Times has long taken great pride in the quality and depth of its international coverage and has managed to attract tens of millions of international readers,” the note said. “But because our digital report is still designed and produced mainly for a U.S. audience, we have not come close to realizing our potential to attract readers outside our home market…Therefore, while our overall company aim is to double digital revenues by 2020, we are setting even more ambitious targets for our international growth.”
The executives said the paper is “already seeing significant growth in consumer revenue from international markets,” and they would be able to achieve greater results by building out its editorial and business teams to better engage non-U.S. readers.
The company has put together a leadership team to spearhead the project, which is dubbed “NYT Global.”
Joe Kahn will become the assistant masthead editor for NYT Global and work with Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, who will become international president, overseeing business operations.
Lydia Polgreen will become associate masthead editor and editorial director for the division. She will essentially be Kahn’s deputy, and will help navigate the Times’ approach to new markets and “prioritizing international readers,” the firm said.
Paul Walborsky, who managed the launch of The New York Times en Español, will become senior vice president of international market development, where he “will be charged with setting up and managing businesses in identified key markets, including those already established in Mexico and China.” Craig Smith, who oversees the China business operations, will report to Walborsky.
James Slezak has been named vice president and chief of operations, and Charlotte Gordon will become vice president of international consumer marketing, overseeing non-U.S. consumer revenue. That includes driving subscriber growth in international markets.
Dan Blumberg will manage digital product vision as product director of international and Suzanne Yvernes will be responsible for tracking and reporting the group’s financial performance in the role of international chief financial officer. Lastly, Jean-Christophe Demarta will become senior vice president of global advertising.
All members of the international leadership team will keep their reporting line and their relationship to their home division, the memo said.
“At a time when journalism and independent media around the world are under acute pressure, from forces both financial and political, The New York Times has never had a better opportunity to expand its mission and its reach. Now is the moment for us to accept the challenge,” the executives concluded.