New York Times Company chose the outgoing director of the BBC to steer the ship
The New York Times Company has tapped Mark Thompson, the outgoing director-general of the BBC, as its new president and CEO.
The newspaper company's board voted unanimously to select Thompson, 55, who will take over in November. He replaces former top executive Janet L. Robinson, who left the company suddenly late last year amid reported tensions with chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
"He is a highly regarded executive who comes to us from one of the other great global media brands, known for high-quality content and excellence in journalism, the BBC," Sulzberger said in an internal memo obtained Tuesday by TheWrap. "And importantly, under Mark’s direction, the BBC also became known as a place of constant innovation."
Also read: N.Y. Times CEO Janet Robinson to Retire
At the BBC, Thompson managed 10 national TV channels, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and a global news website. Most recently, he led the BBC's coverage of the London Olympic Games.
"It is a real privilege to be asked to join the Times Company as it embarks on the next chapter in its history," Thompson, who will also join the board of directors, said in a statement. "I'm particularly excited to be coming to the New York Times company as it extends its influence digitally and globally."
The British media executive will move from London to New York.
Thompson's new job will be difficult.
He is taking over as the company reports a second-quarter net loss of $88.1 million after a $194.7 million write-down in the value of its digital property, About.com, which the company plans to sell.
At the same time, there have been continued declines in print and digital ad revenue.
Also read: N.Y. Times Close to Selling About.com
The company, which owns the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, has been selling off regional assets, including its regional newspaper group.
Upticks in digital subscriptions have helped increase circulation revenue in recent months.
Paid online subscribers at the Times and the Tribune were up 12 percent to 509,000. At the Globe — which launched a paywalled site last year — paid subscriptions were up 28 percent to 23,000.