The New York Times is starting to make good on its promise to develop a low-priced news product. Six months after having completed staff cuts, Times executive editor Jill Abramson announced new products and leadership shuffles to boost the paper's digital footprint.
Abramson had already shaken things up back in January, elevating Larry Ingrassia and Ian Fisher to assistant managing editors to focus on digital, among other changes. With mobile traffic now accounting for nearly half the Times' Web traffic, she said today's moves would position the paper to capitalize on that trend.
To that end, she named deputy metro editor Cliff Levy to lead development of the lower-priced news product. It didn't have a name until now, but Abramson is using the working title Need to Know. As the editor behind the Times' New York Today product for mobile users, Levy seems to be a natural person to lead the charge.
Meanwhile, Abramson announced two other new products that are in the early stages of development: a digital magazine and a new package of food-news content. Separate from the Sunday Times magazine, the new digital magazine will include multimedia narratives in the spirit of the interactive Snow Fall feature and the Times' coverage of the Arizona fires. National editor Sam Sifton, who will be leading it, also will be putting his former food editor expertise toward creating a new dining news product, separate from the current dining section.
Abramson also put Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, a reporter and editor (and the publisher's son), in charge of a new ideas task force, a "skunk-works" project to come up with ways to expand the news offerings in digital ways.