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May 22, 2019, 9:15 a.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK: www.nytimes.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   May 22, 2019

Summer is fleeting, as is The New York Times’ summer newsletter, which is returning for its second year this week. It will run through Labor Day. In the intervening winter months, the Times surveyed readers and applied what they learned to the newsletter’s second summer — here are some of the changes they’re making:

  1. Readers loved the 2018 newsletter — it had more than 80,000 subscribers by the end of the summer — but also found it to be too long. “People thought it was hard to scan,” said Jessica Anderson, a senior staff editor for newsletters, who’s taking over Summer in the City this year from Elisabeth Goodridge, the Times’ deputy travel editor (and the former editorial director for newsletters). So it’s being cut this year, from around 2,200 words to 1,200 (and hopefully won’t get cut off on mobile so much). “Last year we provided two game plans per send,” Anderson said. “This year we’re paring that back to one.” The newsletter is written by Margot Boyer-Dry with food and drinks coverage from Max Falkowitz.
  2. Readers wanted more free and cheap activities, and the Times is making room for those as well as a dedicated section for reader feedback.
  3. “We would come across these absolutely delicious, only New York activities,” Goodridge said — like a free Kool and the Gang concert in Queens — “but you could only do that night once. Kool and the Gang isn’t playing every night.” So Jessica and her team will look for evergreen options, so that if you miss something one weekend you can do another similar activity another weekend. “We think this will make the newsletter a lot more powerful and drive repeat opens,” Goodridge said.
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