New York Times chairman makes a WISH


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Well it’s been a New York Times kinda fortnight. First the NYT’s style supremo blog The Moment published a photo a day throughout RAFW, snapped by frockwriter buddy Sonny Vandevelde. Then on Monday, The Moment ran a slideshow of Vandevelde's RAFW shots (together with our mini event wrap). Now comes word that no less than The New York Times Company chairman and publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, may have his antennae tuned to downunder buzz.

In the annual meeting of stockholders on April 23, Sulzberger waxed lyrical about the company’s achievements in these so terribly trying times.

Sulzberger spent quite some time discussing the activities of the company's digital division.

Sulzberger told shareholders that in spite of the difficult economy, digital revenues continued to rise in 2008, accounting for 12percent of total revenues – up 2percent on 2007 – and that in March (2009, one assumes) The Times Company boasted “the 13th largest presence on the Web, with 52 million unique visitors in the United States”. Sulzberger did not cite any sources for the latter claim.

Sulzberger then added:


“Throughout 2008 and the first months of 2009, we have continued to create a new form of Web journalism that is both informative and compelling. Our goal is to respond to our audiences’ demand for interactivity, community and multimedia, as well as news and information on an increasingly wide range of topics....

“One good example of our learning and adapting occurred in February at the Milan Fashion Show. The New York Times’s T Magazine reported a particularly important change in designers at a fashion line. However, it did not do so in print. Indeed, it didn’t initially appear in our Style Magazine’s blog, The Moment. Instead, the news alert was posted to The Moment’s Twitter account, informing 100,000 followers in a single tweet”.

If the last paragraph sounds awfully familiar to regular readers of this blog and indeed, of The Australian’s WISH magazine, then that could be because the paragraph bears a striking resemblance to the lead of this journalist’s recent social media and fashion story in WISH.

The WISH story opened with an analysis of the recent social media activities of The Moment, specifically on Twitter (here is the slightly longer original version of the story, as published on this blog).

The information was the fruit of original research and had not previously been correlated into any other story.

The WISH story started:
“TALK of the town has Alessandra Facchinetti (ex Valentino) already working on Tom Ford's nascent women's line. So reported The New York Times' T Magazine from Milan Fashion Week on February 28, floating the juiciest rumour of the autumn-winter show season. The news was not, however, broken by the print edition, nor even by the style magazine's blog, The Moment. Instead, a BlackBerry alert posted to The Moment's Twitter account informed 100,000 followers in a single "tweet".

Frockwriter has it on good authority that the NYT PR director was apprised of the WISH story upon publication, who then included a precis in the following day’s executive summary.

Funny how sometimes it takes an outside perspective to find out just what your own staff are up to.