By Christopher B. Daly
If you ran the New York Times and enjoyed the prestige that comes with doing great journalism and having a large, talented staff, why would you run any of your enterprises under another name? That seems to be the thinking behind the latest business move by the Times: renaming the venerable International Herald Tribune into The International New York Times. It makes sense, particularly if the Times executives have already made the decision to hang onto the old IHT and not spin it off, as they recently chose to to with the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
The IHT — which the Times has owned outright since it bought out its partner The Washington Post Co. in 2003 — is already subtitled “The global edition of the New York Times,” so it is only a short step to turn that into the new name.
From the Times’ own story about the change:
Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, publisher of The International Herald Tribune, noted that for most of the newspaper’s long history, it has had New York in its name. The paper (www.ihtinfo.com) was first published in 1887 as the European edition of The New York Herald. Through a series of ownership changes, it became The New York Herald Tribune in 1959.
The paper became The International Herald Tribune in 1967 when The Washington Post Company and the Times Company invested in the paper to keep it afloat after the New York Tribune folded. In 1991, the Post and Times companies became co-owners of the paper. The Times Company bought out The Washington Post Company’s share and became its sole owner in 2003.
The announcement is part of the company’s larger plan to focus on its core brand and building its international presence, the spokeswoman said. On Feb. 20, the Times Company said it was exploring offers to sell The Boston Globe and its other New England media properties. Last year, the company sold its stake in Indeed.com, a jobs search engine, and the About Group, the online resource company.