It should come as no surprise that the New York Times continues to flounder under the leadership of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., notwithstanding the newspaper of record’s recent decision to install a pay wall for selected online content. As the Poynter Institute details, the most recent tumult at the Old Gray Lady involves Pinch’s decision to remove NYT’s CEO Janet Robinson. Although given a golden parachute worth 24 million dollars, Robinson no doubt has reason to be aggrieved-as do less well compensated newsroom employees-with Sulzberger’s move, which was allegedly prompted by his relationship with wealthy Mexican public relations director Claudia Gonzalez.
For those of you who haven’t followed the gradual, seemingly inexorable decline of the Times, I suggest you listen to my five part interview of William McGowan, the author of Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America. Although the questionable personal decisions of the scion of the Sulzberger clan didn’t arise during our talk, we do cover a wide swath of bad personnel and financial decisions by he and his equally misguided deputies. As someone who once looked upon the Times affectionately, the unraveling of this former mainstay of the journalistic world is a lamentable development. For the rest of us, it’s a lesson in how the questionable choices of one person can lead to disastrous consequences.