Jack Shafer: The New York Times Is Becoming Amazon. And That’s a Good Thing.

From a Jack Shafer Fourth Estate column on politico.com headlined “The New York Times Is Becoming Amazon. And That’s a Good Thing.”:

The New York Times would like you to stop thinking of it primarily as a venue for news. Oh, it still wants you to subscribe for the latest intrigue from Washington, coverage of hurricanes, opinion columns and all the rest. But its new business model is more Amazon than dowdy newspaper. The modern Times company wants to be your “everything store” for not just news but entertainment, consumer advice and general mental recreation.

New York Times Tops 10 Million Subscribers—Looks to Reach 15 Million in Five Years

From a Wall Street Journal story by Alexandra Bruell headlined “New York Times Tops 10 Million Subscriptions as Profit Soars”:

New York Times Co. said it surpassed its goal of 10 million subscriptions years ahead of schedule, partly thanks to its recent acquisition of sports-media company the Athletic, while profit rose sharply on the back of strong advertising-revenue growth.

The news organization, which had aimed to reach its subscription goal by 2025, set a new target of at least 15 million total subscribers by year-end 2027. It said it also would begin reporting the number of unique subscribers as the company focuses more on selling bundles that include multiple Times products, such as news, cooking and games. An individual who subscribes to multiple products counts as multiple subscriptions but just one unique subscriber.

Joe Pompeo: The New York Times Succession Timeline Is Coming Into Focus

From a story on vanityfair.com by Joe Pompeo headlined “The NYT Succession Timeline Is Coming Into Focus”:

New York Times editor succession is kind of like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Every so often, chatter bubbles up to suggest something is afoot, that someone’s fortunes may have shifted one way or another, that a timeline has been accelerated (or decelerated), only for the guessing game to carry on and on and on, because, truthfully, no one really knows except the publisher of The New York Times, one A.G. Sulzberger. So take this latest chatter with the requisite grain of salt: A few weeks ago I got a text that said, “Have you heard that the announcement may be coming as soon as this month, with the full transition done in April?”

New York Times to Buy The Athletic for $550 Million

From a story in the New York Times by Lauren Hirsch, Kevin Draper, and Katherine Rosman headlined “New York Times Co. to Buy The Athletic for $550 Million in Cash”:

The New York Times Company has reached an agreement to buy The Athletic, the online sports news outlet with 1.2 million subscriptions, in an all-cash deal valued at $550 million….

The deal brings The Times, which has more than eight million total subscriptions, quickly closer to its goal of having 10 million subscriptions by 2025, while also offering its audience more in-depth coverage of the more than 200 professional teams in North America, Britain and Europe that are closely followed by The Athletic’s journalists.

New York Times Buys The Athletic for $550 Million

From a post on axios.com by Sara Fischer headlined “The New York Times to acquire The Athletic for $550 million in cash”:

The New York Times has agreed to acquire The Athletic in an all-cash deal valuing the sports media startup at $550 million, a source familiar with the deal confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: It’s a huge victory for The Athletic, which had been shopping a deal for months. The subscription-based sports media company was under pressure to sell in light of how much cash it’s lost over the past two years.

Ben Smith on Ronan Farrow: “Some aspects of his work made me wonder if he didn’t, at times, fly a little too close to the sun.”

From a New York Times “Media Equation” column by Ben Smith headlined “Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?”

It was a breathtaking story, written by The New Yorker’s marquee reporter and published with an attention-grabbing headline: “Missing Files Motivated the Leak of Michael Cohen’s Financial Records.”

In it, the reporter, Ronan Farrow, suggests something suspicious unfolding inside the Treasury Department: A civil servant had noticed that records about Mr. Cohen, the personal lawyer for President Trump, mysteriously vanished from a government database in the spring of 2018. Mr. Farrow quotes the anonymous public servant as saying he was so concerned about the records’ disappearance that he leaked other financial reports to the media to sound a public alarm about Mr. Cohen’s financial activities.