New York Times Case Study Essay

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Case 1-2 New York Times

Since 1896, four generations of the Ochs-Sulzberger family have guided The New York Times through wars, recessions, strikes, and innumerable family crises. In 2003, though, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the current proprietor, faced what seemed to be a publisher's ultimate test after a loosely supervised young reporter named Jayson Blair was found to have fabricated dozens of stories. The revelations sparked a newsroom rebellion that humiliated Sulzberger into firing Executive Editor Howell Raines. "My heart is breaking," Sulzberger admitted to his staff on the day he showed Raines the door.
It turns out, though, that fate was not finished with Arthur Sulzberger, who also is chairman of the newspaper's corporate
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"These are tough times, and they've been tough times for a while." But he and new CEO Janet L. Robinson (Lewis retired at the end of 2004) are sticking with the long-term plan set nearly a decade ago: enhancing the content of the Times and extending its reach into virgin territories west of the Hudson while also building its multimedia capacity. In 2002, NYT Co. added a global dimension to its growth strategy by acquiring full control of the International Herald Tribune, which is now being upgraded and expanded.
In essence, Sulzberger is doing what his forebears have always done: sink money into the Times in the belief that quality journalism pays in the long run. "The challenge is to remember that our history is to invest during tough times," he says. "And when those times turn -- and they do, inevitably -- we will be well-positioned for recovery."
Will it work this time? Will toughing it out Sulzberger-style revitalize the Times or consign it to creeping irrelevance? "Despite all that has happened, I still think that The New York Times has a stature and a position of journalistic authority that is greater than any news organization in the world. Could that be destroyed? I believe that it could be," says Alex S. Jones, a former Times media critic who is
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