New York Times to Drop International Herald Tribune Name

The New York Times Co. said its International Herald Tribune newspaper will be renamed the International New York Times, eliminating a global brand that traces its roots to 1887.

The new name will debut later this year, the New York-based publisher said today in a statement. The publication will be edited from Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York, according to Times Co., which said it would release more details on the transition in coming months.

“There is significant potential to grow the number of New York Times subscribers outside of the United States,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said in the statement. “This is the right moment to rename the IHT as the International New York Times to create a single global media brand.”

The newspaper, which started out as the European edition of the New York Herald, came under full ownership of the New York Times in 2003. The change eliminates a brand that has long held cachet among American travelers and English-speaking expatriates in Europe -- especially in Paris, where the newspaper is based. The Jean-Luc Godard movie “Breathless,” a classic of the French New Wave movement, features a girl who sells the Herald Tribune on the streets of the city.

By the 1980s, the IHT began transmitting its pages to Hong Kong via satellite, becoming the first newspaper to be available at the same time on opposite sides of the world, according to its website.

Editorial Oversight

Larry Ingrassia, a top New York Times editor, is overseeing international coverage, said Eileen Murphy, a company spokeswoman. There will continue to be a senior editor in Paris helping direct coverage, she said. Alison Smale is currently executive editor of the International Herald Tribune.

The move furthers the parent company’s efforts to focus on its New York Times brand. Last week, the publisher said it would sell the Boston Globe and related newspapers amid a slump in print advertising. The company has already sold its informational website and a regional-newspaper business over the past 13 months.

Times Co. fully acquired the IHT a decade ago after buying out a 50 percent stake owned by Washington Post Co. Already, the paper carries the subtitle: “The global edition of the New York Times.” In 2010, Times Co. rebranded its worldwide sales operation with the New York Times Global name.

Online Paywall

Thompson is increasingly relying on online subscription revenue to make up for slumping ad sales. National advertising dropped 10 percent across all newspapers in the first nine months of last year, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The New York Times newspaper now makes more money from readers than advertisers, helped by its Internet-subscription program, which has more than 640,000 paying customers. Like the Times, the Herald Tribune has a so-called paywall, meaning readers have to pay if they want to see all the stories.

“The digital revolution has turned the New York Times from being a great American newspaper to becoming one of the world’s best-known news providers,” Thompson said. “We want to exploit that opportunity to attract international audiences, digital subscriptions and advertisers.”

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