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2005-06-01 Home Front: WoT
Pinch Sulzberger's Marketing Strategy for NY Times
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Posted by Jeresh Glomoter5741 2005-06-01 14:50|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [426 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 We've made a lot of management reforms -- shoring up our credibility by establishing a public editor job, a standards editor, and instituting some new policies that were probably long overdue, like our byline policy and trying to stick a finger in the dike of anonymous sourcing.

This is one of those "alternate universe" things, isn't it?
Posted by Matt 2005-06-01 16:21||   2005-06-01 16:21|| Front Page Top

#2 No more precise statement of the Times' new strategy of pandering to urban Bush-haters than this revealing admission from Bill Keller:

Q: Do you think that improvements in journalistic quality -- however you want to define it -- necessarily lead to increases in circulation?

Keller: Yes, I do, actually -- as long as you have that clause in there where I get to define what quality is. When I first became an editor here in 1995, somebody upstairs on the business side explained to me the basic business philosophy of the Times.

It was a kind of epiphany for me, and I never pass up an opportunity to relay this to the staff. And it's this: What most papers do when they want to extend their reach is they go out and interview all the people who don't subscribe and say, "What would you like?" and then they try to dumb down or spice up their paper to pander to that audience. That's what produced the kind of McNuggetization of a lot of local and regional papers in America.

The Times' approach was exactly backward. What they did is focus on the most loyal subscribers and identify their characteristics. And then they went out and tried to find more people who are like those people.

Posted by thibaud (aka lex) 2005-06-01 16:22||   2005-06-01 16:22|| Front Page Top

#3 Note how Keller spins this as taking the high road, avoiding "dumbing down" of the content. But he's really describing the abandonment of the "paper of record" in favor of a narrowly partisan journal. No better way to cater to your Bush-hating core readership than to flood the zone with All Abu Ghraib, All the Time.
Posted by thibaud (aka lex) 2005-06-01 16:23||   2005-06-01 16:23|| Front Page Top

#4 The path that Bill Keller followed to one of the most prestigious posts in journalism -- the executive editorship of The New York Times

Not anymore it's not. Bloggers have it over them in spades. NYT is just another Enquirer rag these days.
Posted by 2b 2005-06-01 17:22||   2005-06-01 17:22|| Front Page Top

#5 Actually it's become a US version of the Guardian. Keller admits this very clearly in the BW interview: the goal is to give the hardcore loyalists more of what they want. Screw the broad public.

Forget any attempt to be the "paper of record" for the nation as a whole. It's all about catering to the urban metrosexual Bush-haters. Look at the change in coverage priorities uinder Pinch: Huge increase in "culture" ie, as defined by urban gays and Manhattanites, and in articles and OpEds slamming Bush. And a sharp decrease in foreign coverage of countries and regions that don't fit neatly into the Bush-as-cource-of-all-evil meme, such as South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, India, Japan....
Posted by thibaud (aka lex) 2005-06-01 17:41||   2005-06-01 17:41|| Front Page Top

#6 I googled the latest circulation numbers and the NYT appears to the only US large city daily that increased its circulation, albeit marginally. The rest are getting hammered. Which says 2 things, one is the strategy is working at least in the short term (ignoring the bleeding away of ad revenues) and this is a demographic that the internet has passed by.
Posted by phil_b 2005-06-01 18:07||   2005-06-01 18:07|| Front Page Top

#7 That's because the other papers are doing the same thing, only without the Noo Yawk market. I read the Philadelphia Inquirer, once a great newspaper, a few months back, and the triteness of the content took my breath away. The Bawlmer Sun, also once a great newspaper, has similarly become a repository of mostly mindless Democrat regurgitation.

Part of it's due to the decline of the afternoon papers -- there's no competition. Part of it's due to catering to the urban market when the readership's moved to the 'burbs. And the biggest part of it's opinion masquerading as news. I have nothing against opinion; I put my opinion in almost everything posted here. But the core of the paper has to be based on fact, and facts have to be at least somewhat verifiable.
Posted by Fred 2005-06-01 18:52||   2005-06-01 18:52|| Front Page Top

#8 From a business perspective it makes perfect sense: in a fragmenting market, go deep into one niche. Be partisan. Rally, comfort, pander to the good folk. Give the true believers more of the good ol' time religion: Krugman and Dowd. Lots of gay arts coverage. All AbuG All the Time.
Posted by thibaud (aka lex) 2005-06-01 18:53||   2005-06-01 18:53|| Front Page Top

#9 The era of the complete politicization of the legacy media has dawned. Pretty soon our press will look more or less like that of the UK, only with fewer right of center options.
Posted by thibaud (aka lex) 2005-06-01 18:55||   2005-06-01 18:55|| Front Page Top

#10 that's why D. Okrent, ombudsman, ripped Krugman a new asshole on the way out the door - because the NYT is all about quality and quantity BS
Posted by Frank G">Frank G  2005-06-01 19:38||   2005-06-01 19:38|| Front Page Top

#11 The Timesosaurus Rex needs to pay attention to the funny bright light in the sky and those weird little furry bloggers running around. But they won't cause they're King of the Newsosaurs
Posted by DMFD 2005-06-01 21:03||   2005-06-01 21:03|| Front Page Top

#12 Well put, DMFD!
Posted by docob 2005-06-01 21:32||   2005-06-01 21:32|| Front Page Top

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