'Times' embeds marketers in editorial teams to drive 'success'

Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times Co., said the outlet is in the "midst of a massive program of change" that is seeing it place its marketers alongside the editorial staff.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

LONDON: Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times Co., said the outlet is in the "midst of a massive program of change" that is seeing it place its marketers alongside the editorial staff.

Speaking at the Financial Times digital media conference, Thompson said that "commercial considerations will never influence" journalism decisions despite the changes to the company and industry. 

"Journalists, designers, computer scientists, marketers, and other specialists are co-located and working incredibly closely together on projects," he said. "This does not mean diluting the independence of the newsroom when it comes to editorial decision-making. We will only succeed if the newsroom and business side work very closely together."

Under the company’s new head of advertising, Meredith Kopit Levien, The New York Times is developing new digital ad units including "paid posts" and new native advertising units as it takes a  "more competitive and aggressive stance in the market."

Next week, The New York Times will launch an app called NYT Now that will cost $8 for four weeks and be half the cost of the cheapest digital subscription.

Thompson described the app as an "express version" of Times journalism that has been optimized for the smartphone using the top stories from the website.

It comes from Thompson’s ambition to have a "ten-minute Times" and executive editor Jill Abramson’s desire for a version she had labeled "good to go."

The app will feature summarized versions of stories based on core Times journalism, video content and "paid post" and native advertising units.

New York Times editors will also scan the rest of the Web to summarize the "most interesting and diverting stories" from other news sources, while longer reads will be suggested in the evening when users have more downtime.  

"The idea is to give people a sense throughout the day of what they need to be fully briefed on what is going on throughout the world," he explained.

Thirty percent of the company’s traffic comes from outside the US, but only 10% of subscriptions come from international markets.

The company hopes to increase international revenues by investing further in journalism and marketing outside of the US.

This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing.

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