The New York Times, one of the top 5 brands in the world (IMHO), is beginning to get with the digital program. And the result? A profitable quarter.
I buy and read The New York Times every day. When I think about it, what I pay for and what I use are way out of whack. Let’s say there are 60,000 words in any one issue of which I may read 3,000. What kind of usage is that? Yet I’m as loyal as a house cat. Why? Because the NYT has managed its brand brilliantly. It offers the world — reported and depicted without bias (save for the editorial pages) in a wonderfully written and presented format. The Times defines news journalism as Coke defines cola.
With the web collapsing the news cycles and citizens sharing pictures and video in real time, the Times has lost some of its news magnetism. Until it gets it back. It has been slow to adopt social media as a tool for tracking and reporting stories but is picking up speed. And once it catches up, it will lap citizen journalism. Someone from the Times could have been in position west of Surt, Lybia yesterday to get some original photography. Instead its photographer were in Surt.
How the Times gathers, reports and analyses news and stories is changing, but the branded product they serve up remains the same. That culture, that brand, that product is so tight it will never Kodak (verb.) It has been a bit bumpy, but watching the Times find its sea legs in the digital world is going to be very exciting. Peace!