New York Times ramps up mobile strategy

27/11/2014

The New York Times this week hired Kinsey Wilson, formerly of USA Today and NPR, as its new editor for innovation and strategy as the publisher looks to boost its mobile efforts as well as developing new digital products, including mobile applications

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Wilson will be responsible for improving the newspapers’ mobile strategy and creating new digital products that package NYT journalism in ways that appeal to new audiences, similar to the 'NYT Now' and 'NYT Cooking' apps. His appointment will take effect February 2015.

The appointment is part of a major shake-up at the newspaper to keep pace with the fast-changing digital media landscape.

Many of the strategic changes were laid out in an internal memo that was leaked to BuzzFeed in May of this year.

While acknowledging the superior quality of The New York Times’ reporting, the memo pounded home the message that “we are falling behind in a second critical area: the art and science of getting our journalism to readers.”

The memo stated that the newsroom needed to be reorganized to cater more effectively to reader experience.

The reorganisation would give the newsroom access to departments and resources traditionally associated with the business side of the NYT, including divisions devoted to “Design, Technology, Consumer Insight Group, R&D, and Product.”

The paper has already made a round of staff reductions in the newsroom, aimed at reducing its size by about 100.
Wilson previously served as executive vice president and chief content officer for NPR, where he led the development of the NPR One mobile app, offering a personalized digital listening experience. He also spearheaded new editorial offerings, like Planet Money, NPR Music, and Race Card Project.

Wilson also served as executive editor at USA Today, responsible for digital strategy and daily news operations and pioneered Congressional Quarterly’s early Web strategy.

NYT executive editor Dean Baquet stated: “A pioneer in digital journalism, Kinsey is joining us at a crucial time as we accelerate our transformation into a news organization that delivers great journalism on all platforms.”

Citing new digital initiatives such as a dedicated audience development team, Baquet said that The Times’s readership grew 21 percent in October to reach its highest level.

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