October 29, 2020

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to Retire as New York Times Company Chairman

Mr. McAndrews, Ms. Kopit Levien and A. G. Sulzberger all sit on the Times Company board.

Mr. Sulzberger’s time in charge was not without its missteps and moments of office turmoil. In 2003, he parted ways with Howell Raines, who had been the newspaper’s executive editor for less than two years, after it was revealed that a staff reporter, Jayson Blair, had committed dozens of acts of journalistic fraud in his work for The Times.

Another dramatic moment came in 2014, when Mr. Sulzberger dismissed Jill Abramson as the executive editor because of what he characterized as “an issue with management in the newsroom.” Ms. Abramson was the first woman to serve as the executive editor of The Times when Mr. Sulzberger appointed her to the job in 2011. He replaced her with Dean Baquet, the newspaper’s first Black executive editor, who has led the newsroom since her departure.

Much of his tenure as publisher coincided with a time of crisis in the news media industry, when newspapers across the country were dying off, unable to survive the one-two punch of the transition to digital and the 2008 financial crisis. Mr. Sulzberger continued the family’s commitment to journalism, keeping bureaus open around the world and adding journalists to its newsroom.

When he left as publisher at the end of 2017, The Times had 3.5 million subscribers, 2.5 million of them digital-only. Since A. G. Sulzberger succeeded his father in that role, the growth in subscriptions has accelerated. At the end of the second quarter of 2020, the paper had 6.5 million total subscribers, a figure that included 5.7 million digital-only subscriptions. This year, for the first time, the Times Company earned more from its digital products than the print newspaper in a quarter.

“As publisher and chairman, Arthur brought more change to The Times than anyone since Adolph Ochs,” A. G. Sulzberger said. “His tenure stretched from the first front-page color photo to experiments in augmented reality, from the heyday of print advertising to digital revenue eclipsing print.”

He added, “Our success today is directly attributable to his singular focus on the long term, his embrace of innovation and his sustained investment in quality, original journalism.”

A. G. Sulzberger became the leader of the Times Company, on Jan. 1, 2018, partly on the strength of his “innovation report,” a 2014 document that was critical of the newspaper’s failure to adapt quickly enough to sound digital-media practices while also laying out a plan for its online future.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/23/business/media/arthur-sulzberger-retirement.html

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