Can the New York Times survive? Top talent jumping ship
In the last nine months, at least a dozen top reporters and editors have made for the exits. Among them are such well-known and respected journalists as: Nate Silver, who sprinted to ESPN; David Pogue, who decamped to Yahoo News; Jeff Zeleny, who left for ABC News; and Rick Berke, who is en route to POLITICO. That’s not counting the many editors and reporters who took buyouts at the beginning of the year.
On Tuesday, in a sucker-punch to staff morale, the Grey Lady lost three more: Brian Stelter, the paper’s marquee media reporter, announced he would go to CNN; Matt Bai, the Times Magazine’s chief political correspondent, decamped to Yahoo; and Capital New York reported on Monday night that Hugo Lindgren, the editor of the Times Magazine, will leave at the end of the year.
The departures have brought the Times face-to-face with a harsh reality: In the new media landscape, some journalists have become their own brands with followings and reputations that are not dependent on the ‘aura’ of the paper of record. Some built their brands at the paper, but it does not necessarily have the resources or flexibility to keep them. Meanwhile, deep-pocketed competitors are willing to pay top dollar for top-flight talent — an issue not only the Times but many large media outlets are facing. . . .But even before the competition was taking its top talent, it is having trouble increasing its revenue.
The newspaper’s latest financial results show that this is still the case: although the Times has seen further growth in subscriptions, its overall revenue barely budged, and much of that lack of movement was due to continued declines in the paper’s advertising revenue — both in the print version and online. . . .