The New York Times Company announced this morning that it would get this fall a new president, i e a new boss. The choice made by the chairman and the board came as a big surprise. The nominee is Mark Thompson, the retiring dierctor general of the BBC, a British and a former journalist who made all his career in television.
Sulzberger, the NYT chairman stated that it was time for the famous newspaper to enter fully in the digital age and Thompson was very successful in developing the BBC website and applications which were boosted by the Olympic Games. Still, it is a gamble to put in charge of the grey lady a man who is a total stranger to the print industry.
And yet, the NYT has been quite successful with its digital development. It can boast with 500 000 paying subscribers to its digital service, a result that few newspapers in the world can make for. However, there is a trend with the main American dailies to use more and more video and build up a new sort of television channel supported by the Web. The big plus is that it allows the display of TV ads which are much more profitable than the traditional banners. The task of Mark Thompson is huge indeed.