New York Times CEO says Chinese language site under review

Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:51pm EST
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Times Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said the publisher is going to keep all its money losing operations under review - including those in China - as he seeks to negotiate the newspaper's increasing shift towards a digital landscape.

The New York Times Chinese language website has been blocked in China ever since it published an article in October 2012 about the family wealth of Wen Jiabao, the former premier.

Thompson said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that the website, which was launched in a beta version in June 2012, got off to an encouraging start.

"The fact that we can't be seen officially inside China means the revenue is not as large as we would have wished it to have been," he said.

"If it's a loss-making operation, they are all under constant review."

The Chinese site's struggles are one of several hurdles Thompson faces a little more than a year after he became CEO. He was Director-General of the BBC from 2004 to 2012.

Like other media organizations, the newspaper faces unprecedented challenges because of declining advertising revenue and print readership.

Many news companies, including The New York Times, are hoping to tap new revenue streams in foreign markets including Asia. The newspaper last month renamed its overseas publication - the International Herald Tribune - to the International New York Times as part of the drive for global growth.   Continued...

Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company, poses for a portrait in New York, November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson