NYT Monthly Roundup

Late December to Early January

A monthly blog chronicling the every move at the Times.

Exclusive: The Times is redesigning A2 and A3 of its print paper and is hiring two editors to oversee the new pages.

“The pages will entice readers into the paper itself, but also offer stories and content that so far hasn’t been part of the print paper” according to the Times’ company website. The editors will work for the Print Hub, which was created in October and now lays out the print edition. This planned redesign comes after the redesign of the Arts section and the Times’ investment in special magazine sections like the sixteen page Puzzle Mania section and an excerpt from Colson Whiteheads’s Underground Railroad. Do you like the Times’ new print redesigns?

The announcement from the Times’ company website.

Change in Editing

Copy Editing is now done by groups called the live, projects, enterprise and weeklies desks in one of the largest changes in editing since the paper stopped handing out metal spikes, paste pots and brushes! Copy editing, traditionally done by each desk like National or International, as of December 5 is now done by those centralized groups because “less and less of what we need to do is based strictly on geography or topic area. With our accelerated coverage of everything, in every form, we need desks that can operate with appropriate pace and metabolism for different types of journalism, not just different subject areas” wrote Susan Wessling head of Newsroom planning. TIMES INSIDER: https://goo.gl/bS4rLD

The change is probably another from the 2020 Group, a committee tasked with rethinking the paper’s future, which has also recommended changes to the Metro section, the sensibility of beats, and the future of print. POLITICO: https://goo.gl/hHmDKU

Did Competition lead to a new Anonymous Tips Page?

The Times was a dominant force this election getting Trump’s 1995 taxes, first two accusers, and articles about his finances. Arguably The Washington Post bested the Times with its secret weapon David Fahrenthold who lucked into the groping tape, and crowdsourced foundation stories. Also the Post’s government sources have been most fruitful post election with scoops about the CIA and FBI’s thinking on Russian involvement in the election. If you wanted the most interesting news the Times didn’t have you went to the Post.

In response to the Post and the overall atmosphere of the new administration the Times unveiled an anonymous news tip contact page last week with links to Signal, WhatsApp, encrypted email, SecureDrop, and their old fashioned address. Sounds like something the Times should have had years ago, right?

The Times is coming late to it after relying on face to face, getting-to-know-your-sources journalism.

I’ve always wondered how you got in touch with a reporter and in the case of Bradley Manning he didn’t. In 2010 he approached the Post and the Times only to talk to a dismissive Post writer and a voicemail machine at the Times. He of course went to Wikileaks with his documents.

The Times has had success so far with the new feature according to Runa Sandvik, the Director of Informational Security at the Times, with “several stories received.” Hopefully we’ll get a chance to find out what those were!

The Tips page: https://goo.gl/fdBGcx

Stories Bout the Times

Apple took the Chinese and English version Times app down in China after a request from the government. The Times’ website was blocked in 2012 after an expose on then Premier, Wen Jiabao’s finances. The current removal of the apps came after a story on the subsidies provided to Foxconn to build Apple’s iphone. China has increasingly cracked down on information and companies like Apple have complied with their demands because of the massive amount of business they get from China. In the past the Times has found creative ways to get around China’s censorship, but with this development, getting to readers and supporting it monetarily may just be too much. Either the Times folds its Chinese edition or just finds new ways around the great firewall. Being thought of as the anti-government news source could have its advantages — readers might find ways to come to you. NYT: https://goo.gl/Lvijkj

Liz Spayd interviewed Executive Editor Dean Baquet about change at the Times. “I could probably go through the Times every day and come up with a couple examples where they d0[put in opinion]” said Dean Baquet. NYT: https://goo.gl/5Wvqk6

T Brand Studios the native advertising (ads masquerading as content) unit at the Times now has 110 employees and 35 million dollars in revenue. WSJ: https://goo.gl/lyJA2g

Lydia Polgreen, the former Editorial Directer of NYT Global, left in a surprising move to Huffpo to take the job of Editor-in-Chief. An interesting point she made in the podcast below was that the Times lost a traditional source of talent with the demise of local newspapers. They were the tributaries that fed the river. INSIDER: https://goo.gl/9NlD6Z

The Times Tower is as tall as as the Chrysler Building when the swaying rod is included, but only floors 28 through 2 are occupied by the Times and 8 floors are being vacated.

The Times is subleasing 8 floors in its Manhattan headquarters. It sold its impressive building in 2009 to pay off debt and has an agreement to lease the building until 2022 with an option to buy it back in 2019 for the bargain price of 250 million. Remaining floors will be redesigned for better interaction between departments and the big 16th and 17th executive floors where the publishers’s office is located will be dismantled. Sorry incoming publisher AG Sulzberger! But at least the Times can be making some big bucks, at the most 24 million dollars which is the rate the Times would get at normal rent rates (the Times will be subleasing, so getting a lower rate). BLOOMBERG: https://goo.gl/r0vV7i

Long time President and business executive at the Times, Walter Mattson died in December. Among his many accomplishments saving the Times from crippling Union strikes, launching the national edition and multi-section paper we know today, and sought the ill timed 1.1 billion dollar acquisition of the Boston Globe in 1993. NY TIMES Obit: https://goo.gl/Tqm9eI

The Times’ Facebook Live hit 100 million views. The Times was reportedly paid over 3 million dollars to create their live broadcasts. NYTCO: https://goo.gl/bwUL0Z

Ian Fisher is moving to Jerusalem as Bureau Chief from his current role as Weekend Editor. Peter Baker was recently assigned the Jerusalem position, but was recalled to cover the new administration . NYTCO: https://goo.gl/TssavJ

Tips and Contact: stuart@baymoon.com

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