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July 25, 2013, 12:03 p.m.
LINK: www.ft.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   July 25, 2013

Earlier this year, The New York Times Co. announced that the International Herald Tribune would be rebranded as the The International New York Times. (Nikki Usher wrote about it for us at the time.) Today, the Financial Times takes a look at what was behind that decision — largely, and unsurprisingly, digital strategy.

In its latest quarter, revenues in the company’s New York Times Media Group, which includes the New York Times and the IHT, declined 0.9 per cent to $380.7m. The group derived more than half of its revenues from circulation dollars, which grew 8.2 per cent in the quarter but failed to offset a 11.4 per cent drop in advertising. While the New York Times doesn’t break out the performance of the IHT, Mr [Stephen] Dunbar-Johnson says it is profitable, without giving details.

Mr Dunbar-Johnson says executives’ confidence in the international opportunity was bolstered by a lengthy study and analysis of traffic patterns to the New York Times website. About a third of its 41.4m unique global monthly visitors come from outside the US. Yet only 70,000, or 10 per cent of its 708,000 paid digital subscribers are located outside of the US.

While Dunbar-Johnson stressed that The International New York Times would retain content unique from that of The New York Times, he expressed the company’s desire to capitalize on the power of a “global monobrand” — and also hinted that the publication’s headquartering in Paris might not be permanent, either.

Mr Johnson plays down concerns that the IHT will abandon its roots in Paris, where half its staff are based. He cautions, however, that France’s costly and inflexible labour market means that “so often, it makes economic sense to do it outside of France”.

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