The New York Times Company released a strategy memo to its staff on Wednesday outlining an ambitious plan to double digital revenue to $800 million in 2020 from $400 million in 2014, in part through a focus on increasing subscriptions and engagement with its most loyal readers.
The memo, which was signed by the company’s chief executive, Mark Thompson, and the executive editor of The Times, Dean Baquet, is based on the findings of an executive committee that met over the summer. Outlining a strategy that includes a shift away from platforms and departments and more toward the reader, the memo concludes, “What’s needed adds up to a transformation of the company.”
It comes as the Times Company, like most other publishers, faces a complex and shifting industry, with precipitous declines in high-margin print advertising, which was long the bedrock of the newspaper business model. The company has been seeking to increase digital and other revenue to compensate, most notably through charging readers to subscribe online.
In recent weeks, The Times publicly celebrated a milestone, passing one million digital subscribers, and it has sought to emphasize the breadth and depth of its coverage by presenting selections of its best journalism and a map showing the geographical locations that reporters have filed stories from.