The New York Times Company reported a profit for the second quarter and that’s wonderful. It’s been a slog for the NYT but the company is getting its act together. It is divesting itself of non-core properties (Boston Globe, Boston.com), ramping up its digital business and leveraging its worldwide brand by investing in changes to The International Herald Tribune, including a new name.
Print advertising is down but more surprisingly so is digital advertising – off 2.7%. In today’s word that’s just a little bit crazy. Perhaps these numbers are the result, not of NYT.com, but of the other properties. Either way, didge should be growing like a dookie and with the NYT imprimatur, faster than the market.
Here’s a couple of thoughts for The Times to accelerate its recovery:
1. Feed the digital natives with more timely news stories, across more platforms. Online, that will require more video, podcast/audio, and slideshows. Immediacy and “first to report” is a key here. Your audio video editing suite will need to grow significantly.
2. Keep the analysis for the daily print property, but feed and stream the big stuff from around the world on NYT.com. Live is better than canned. (Obviously make the paper/paper analysis available online.)
3. Do not rename The International Herald Tribune. As much as I love the NYT, it’s an ethnocentric and brand-selfish.
4. News cannot be commoditized, so continue to reinvent it. Innovate. Don’t curate. In 20 years, we may still have paper and we still may have broadcast; they are the plumbing. But we will certainly have news — and the organizations that capture it best, with the most accuracy and realism will win the day.