New York Times Names New Chief Operating Officer Amid Digital Reshaping

By Trey Williams Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The New York Times Co. said on Wednesday it's named Meredith Kopit Levien as the company's chief operating officer, effective immediately. Kopit Levien, who was previously responsible for generating all advertising and subscription revenue for the Times as the chief revenue officer, will now be tasked with streamlining and accelerating the operations of the rapidly growing digital businesses. Kopit Levien will oversee the teams responsible for product, design, audience and brand, consumer revenue, advertising and NYT Beta, which develops and manages new digital products. Kopit Levien's promotion is part of a broader reshaping of the Times's digital departments. "We've seen striking success in digital in recent quarters with remarkable growth in audiences, subscriber numbers and digital advertising revenue. But I believe we have the opportunity to more even faster by simplifying and streamlining decision-making and digital execution at the company," said New York Times Chief Executive Mark Thompson in a statement. In the Times's reorganization the executive vice president of product and technology position, held by Kinsey Wilson, is being eliminated. Wilson opted not to stay on in another role at the Times, but will serve as a strategic adviser to Thompson, Executive Editor Dean Baquet and other senior leaders at the paper. The New York Times recently said it was offering buyouts aimed at cutting down the number of editors in the newsroom. The Times didn't say how many jobs it wanted to get rid off, but said its goal is to increase the number of on-the-ground journalists by about 100. In the company's reorganization it also eliminated the public editor role. In its first-quarter earnings report the Times said it had its best quarter ever for subscriber growth. And while print advertising continued to decline, digital saw substantial growth and accounted for 38% of the company's total advertising revenue. Shares of the New York Times have gained more than 30% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index have increased nearly 9%.

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