The return of the IHT archives

By Felix Salmon
May 18, 2009

Richard Pérez-Peña has the story: the IHT archives, which disappeared back in March, are reappearing. Finally. But the story is a little odd:

“Obviously, it was never our intention to make this stuff disappear,” said Marc S. Frons, chief technology officer of New York Times Digital.

The plan was to move all the Herald Tribune articles since 1991 to nytimes.com, but that turned out to be more complicated than expected. And rather than wait, executives combined the sites first, knowing that for a while, The Herald Tribune work would be missing.

Presumably, when it comes to the “executives” in question, the buck stops in this instance with Frons. So if he didn’t intend to make the stuff disappear, then why did he make the switch, given that he knew that the work would disappear? And why didn’t he say anything in public at the time? “Rather than wait” doesn’t even come close to providing an explanation of what exactly happened here and why — although it is great news that the IHT archives are back.

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