New York Times Ushers in New Era with Official Rebrand of International Herald Tribune

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The iconic International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, has been officially rebranded as the International New York Times.

Immortalized by Jean Seberg in Jean-Luc Godard’s classic Breathless, with a star turn in Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises,” the rebrand is a survival tactic to support the mother-ship and evolve into a global news entity in a world rendered virtually borderless and increasingly downsized by digital.

“Today, our future is global,” wrote publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. “With today’s action, we are creating a single, unified global media brand, which will allow us to expand our digital hubs, grow our editorial team, add more international voices in news and opinion, and increase the coverage provided by some of our best writers from around the globe.”

The Times Co. has pared back recently, selling the Boston Globe and its portfolio of regional papers, divesting About.com and its investment in the Boston Red Sox in a strategic goal of preserving and growing the flagship brand.[more]

Serge Schmemann, an editorial writer for the paper noted in the IHT final issue, “Weep not. The paper has changed names a number of times since its founding…but its mission has always remained the same: to provide a global perspective on events and ideas shaping the world.” 

Launched as the Paris Herald 126 years ago, it became the European Edition of the New York Herald Tribune in 1924, followed in 1967 by the International Herald Tribune, under joint ownership of the Herald Tribune, the New York Times and the Washington Post, reduced in 1991 to the Washington Post and the New York Times and then in 2003 to just the Times

The Times took the digital plunge in 2011, charging for content via a metered system rather than a pay wall, and garnered 700,000 paying customers. “If we can get the combination of the new products that we’re doing and the international strategy to significantly increase consumer revenue, that could be of real significance,” said Mark Thompson, President and CEO. 

The company is exploring new products and making its video debut with GM Rebecca Howard overseeing a unit that’s added 17 employees since she joined in March, working on original series, long-form documentaries, a “news minute” to be aired three times a day and videos to support major articles and columns. 

“These efforts reflect momentum on the part of the Times to scale its brand globally amid the difficult US advertising market, which has led the company to pare down its assets while developing new, and largely digital, consumer-based revenue streams,” Capital New York notes. But Thompson stands firm that “the last thing in the world we want is the business side trying to invent journalistic product. The future of journalism needs to be figured out in the newsroom of the New York Times, not in the ad department.”

With only “minor design changes,” to the old IHT brand, the Times is focused on attracting international digital subscribers, whom Larry Ingrassia, assistant managing editor for new initiatives describes as “the political, business and cultural elite of the world.”

To smoothe the transition and attract new readers, the Times announced that digital access to the INYT is free from 5 p.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. on Oct. 19, after which standard online and mobile subscription fees kick in after a combined 10 free articles across international.nytimes.com and nytimes.com

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