NEW YORK: Mercury has brought on former New York Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts to lead its global digital practice.
Roberts' role as MD will be to work with Mercury’s offices globally on digital strategy as well as counseling clients using digital, mobile, and social channels. He started in the position on Monday, based in New York, according to a statement from the firm. It is a new role.
"There’s a really good opportunity for Mercury to broaden the scope of what it offers to clients," Roberts said. "Being able to communicate on digital platforms is a never-ending and always-evolving challenge, and it’s not an easy challenge; digital changes every day, even every hour. But being able to help our clients understand that world is a really good opportunity for us."
Roberts moved to Mercury after a long career in journalism. He spent 25 years at The New York Times in various editor roles. Following his departure in 2013, Roberts worked at Reuters as executive editor of Reuters Digital and chief content officer and later as executive editor at Mashable. He departed Mashable this spring after a restructuring. Most recently, Roberts was a consulting editor for The Hill.
Roberts said he got to know Mercury in the months after he left Mashable and became "enamored" with the way the agency does business.
"As a news person, I have been fascinated with how both digital tools and platforms have made the practice of journalism better," Roberts said. "I want to be able to take that in the realm beyond journalism."
In August, Mercury hired another former journalist, Drew Olanoff, to run its newly launched San Francisco office.
This story was updated on October 3 with comment from Roberts.