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New York Times names A.G. Sulzberger as new publisher

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is handing the reins of The New York Times Company to his son Arthur Gregg Sulzberger -- a long...

Posted: Dec. 14, 2017 10:46 AM
Updated: Dec. 14, 2017 7:57 PM

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is handing the reins of The New York Times Company to his son Arthur Gregg Sulzberger -- a long-expected moment of generational change for the family-controlled newspaper.

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Arthur Gregg, known as A.G. to his friends and colleagues, is the new publisher at the storied news organization, according to a company announcement Thursday.

Sulzberger Jr. has been publisher since 1992. He will retire at the end of the month, though he will stay on as chairman of the New York Times Company's board of directors.

The younger Sulzberger, 37, will take over on January 1, 2018.

A.G. was named deputy publisher last year, which made him the heir apparent for the position. A.G. and two of his cousins, Sam Dolnick and David Perpich, had been considered candidates for the job.

A.G. is the fifth generation of the family to help run the paper since his great-great grandfather Adolph Ochs purchased it in 1896.

The New York Times Co., the holding company that owns the paper, is publicly traded. But a special class of stock controlled by the Sulzberger family gives it voting control over the company.

"Our newsroom has seen more change in the last four years than in any period in modern history, as we've embraced our digital evolution and transformed ourselves for the road ahead," A.G. said in a recent memo to staffers.

The memo emphasized that the changes are "paying off."

The news organization, he said, has 1,450 journalists, "which is roughly as many as we've ever had. That figure -- at a moment when so many other news organizations are scaling back their ambitions -- is itself a sign that all of our hard work is paying off," A.G. wrote.

"None of this is easy and there is much more hard work ahead. But the unprecedented creativity, reach and impact of our journalism today is a reminder of all the opportunity before us as we embrace the need to evolve. We can't rest, but we can celebrate how far we've come."

In a press release on Thursday, the elder Sulzberger hailed the move.

"A.G. embodies the values and mission of The Times," Sulzberger Jr. said. "He has proven himself to be a powerful force for change, deeply dedicated to moving the company forward as the pace of transformation in our business continues to speed up. I am completely confident that he - and his cousins who are working alongside him - will dedicate themselves to preserving the excellence at The Times that my family has been committed to for over 120 years."

The Sulzberger name is virtually synonymous with the Times, and Thursday's announcement continues the dynastic succession that has marked the position of publisher.

Like his father, A.G. Sulzberger has a background in journalism, having served as a reporter at two different newspapers before joining the Times' metro desk in 2009. Later, he became a national correspondent at the newspaper.

Sulzberger Jr. also had a reporting career highlighted by years at the Times, which he joined in 1978 as a correspondent in the paper's Washington bureau. He would go on to other reporting and editing jobs before being named assistant publisher in 1987. Five years later, Sulzberger, Jr. succeeded his father, A.O. Sulzberger Sr., as publisher. Sulzberger Sr. had held the position since 1963. He died in 2012.

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