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New York Times: Tying Its Fortunes to Obama

Thursday, 08 Jan 2009 05:20 PM

By Jim Meyers

Stories about The New York Times' financial woes are legion.

Perhaps out of an act of desperation, the Times is trying to ride the coattails of Barack Obama’s success.

A new direct mail subscription solicitation from Times indicates that America’s so-called “paper of record” is tying its fortunes to an Obama administration.

Objective? Hardly.

The papers mailing includes a glossy flier depicts Obama with his hand raised beside the words: “Don’t miss history in the making. November 4 was just the beginning.”

The flip side declares: “In these momentous times, there is no better way to stay on top of all the historic moments yet to come than by subscribing” to The Times.

Would the Times have offered such a promotion, say, in the days leading up to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan?

Clearly, the paper is sacrificing its journalistic independence and credibility by trumpeting the success of an untested new president. Perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures. The New York Times Co. announced in late December that advertising revenue dropped 20.9 percent in November from a year ago.

And in the six months ending September 2008, The Times’ circulation dropped 3.5 percent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. It stood at just over 1 million at the end of last year.

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