New York Times will absorb IHT.com’s website
Forbes.com reported on Wednesday that
The New York Times’ Web site is getting more global, and IHT.com is going bye-bye. The Times told staff in an internal e-mail Tuesday that the paper’s flagship Web site will soon become host to news from sister paper the International Herald Tribune and that the Tribune’s site will be shuttered. The move will require “hard decisions about jobs at the IHT,” and the company is now looking to “reassign or relocate people,” according to the memo.
The Times folks disputed the “shuttered” and “bye-bye” parts. They say it’s a change, not a shutdown. (We’ll buy that: we reported this back in June, citing an international memo from Times Executive Editor Bill Keller and IHT Publisher Stephen Dunbar-Johnson)
We got our hands on the memo, and it does say that the IHT might reassign or relocate people. But it looks like the fate of the website will be something more like what we’ve seen from washingtonpost.com and the BBC. The Post offers DC-area users more local news on one version of the page, while offering national and international visitors a separate page with more news that they care about. The BBC features UK and international versions of its homepage.
Here’s an excerpt from the memo, which notes that the change will come next spring:
Regular NYTimes.com users will be able to opt-in to that new home page; the IHT.com URL will also redirect there. We will also feature six new global section fronts, again chosen for international readers: business, travel, culture, sports, style and opinion. Those will be found alongside the standard NYTimes.com section fronts and also featured on the global edition homepage. All IHT content will now be published on the integrated site as well as archived and searchable on NYTimes.com.
An IHT spokeswoman also noted that the website has about 2.3 million monthly, unique non-U.S. users, while nytimes.com brings in 25 million unique users each month. (Based on Webtrends and Nielsen numbers)
The background to the story is a host of media reports in the past several years that wonder why the IHT continues to exist when it essentially is an international New York Times. The Times indeed has been putting more of its stamp on the IHT recently, and many of its stories come straight from the Times (as well as Reuters). Now, it appears, more of the web operations will be handled courtesy of the Times. The big question now is when they just start calling it “The New York Times.”