'New York Times' To Revamp 'Business' Sections, Expand Video

At its annual NewFront presentation to advertisers and marketers, The New York Times teased changes to its business section and expansions to its audio, video and data offerings.

The presentation tried hard to portray The Gray Lady as cool and hip, with numerous slides featuring humorous gifs and millennial imagery. 

The New York Times announced it will expand and upgrade its business coverage this year. It will rename its business section in September; its current name, “Business Day,” was created in the 1970s.

The NYT will also relaunch its Sunday Business section and make it more “magazine-y,” business editor Ellen Pollock said, as well as introduce a weekly newsletter.

The newspaper is banking on an audio series, likely hoping for similar successes as the immensely popular daily podcast “The Daily," which has 4.5 million monthly unique listeners. Host Michael Barbaro said the series may be made into a TV show, specifically narrative documentary-style episodes.



Barbaro said several new series could launch from “The Daily” platform, such as the new “Caliphate” series, which follows Rukmini Callimachi as she closely reports on ISIS.

Assistant managing editor Sam Dolnick said the NYT is increasingly partnering with TV producers to create video for its journalism. Earlier this year, it announced a deal with Anonymous Content to represent film and TV rights for its editorial.

For example, the medical column “Diagnosis” is being made into a Netflix series. The NYT also said its “Overlooked” project, which gives important women who never got obituaries in the newspaper their due, may also be made into a series, as could its Modern Love and Cooking verticals.

The newspaper made frequent mention of its four-part documentary series with Showtime, “The Fourth Estate,” set to premiere on May 27. “It’s like 'All The President's Men,' but starring three women,” Dolnick said.

Gender editor Jessica Bennett and Styles editor Choire Sicha brought up the company's efforts to attract more women; more men currently read and subscribe to the publication. A new editorial initiative, “This is 18,” will profile 18-year-old women across the country on what it is like to come of age in this era, Bennett said. 

The NYT's NewFront presentation also brought attention to its new nytDemo team, which offers data services to brands, based on the same tools and insights that power the newspaper.

Allison Murphy, vice president of ad innovation, and Chris Wiggins, chief data scientist, noted the “topic targeting” capability that lets marketers target content based on “topic clusters,” rather than broad verticals like “tech” or “science.”

They also discussed one of the biggest issues for the presentation's audience. “Neutrality targeting is our way to offer brand safety,” Murphy and Wiggins said.

Marc Lavallee, head of R&D, said smart speakers are “ideal for service journalism,” and the NYT’ could ramp up its efforts to answer questions for its audience and work with brands to produce content on devices like Alexa.

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