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New York Times Adds Tech-Savvy Directors to Its Board

New York Times Co., adding technology experience to its board to help with its shift to the Internet, named the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joichi Ito and venture capitalist Brian McAndrews as directors.

Ito, director of the media lab at MIT, and McAndrews, a partner with Madrona Venture Group, brings the board to 13 members, the New York-based company said today in a statement.

Times Co. has been attempting to transform itself into a digital publisher as the print industry continues to lose ad revenue to the Web. The company also is searching for a chief executive officer to replace Janet Robinson, who was fired in December. The stock has declined 12 percent since Robinson left.

“Joi Ito and Brian McAndrews bring deep digital experience to the board of the Times Company, which will be invaluable as we continue our digital transformation,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the company’s chairman and publisher, said in a statement.

Ito, 46, an early investor in many technology companies, including Flickr, Kickstarter and Twitter Inc., has had a long career in digital media. As the director of the MIT Media Lab, he has cemented his reputation as one of the leading thinkers on technology and has advocated for free sharing of creative works through the nonprofit group Creative Commons.

Ito started an “underground newspaper” in high school using the school’s mimeograph machine.

“Re-reading it recently, I noticed we spent way too much time criticizing the official school newspaper and stressing the unimportance of grammar and other rules,” he wrote on his blog.

McAndrews, 53, is a former Microsoft Corp. executive and previously ran AQuantive Inc., a digital marketing company that was sold to Microsoft for $6 billion in 2007. McAndrews worked at ABC Inc. from 1990 to 1999, where he eventually rose to lead ABC Sports. A graduate of Harvard University with an MBA from Stanford University, McAndrews also sits on the boards of Clearwire Corp., Blue Nile Inc. and Fisher Communications Inc.

Times Co. fell 1.6 percent to $6.84 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 12 percent this year.

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