In the nearly seven months since Janet Robinson was forced out, the New York Times Co. has either had an interim CEO in Arthur Sulzberger Jr. or no CEO, depending on your point of view. In any case, Sulzberger was never meant to continue as chairman and CEO long term, and a search has been underway for some time — but how it will end is still unclear. The latest potential candidate is departing BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, reported by The Guardian to be “considering” the job along with other possibilities for his post-Beeb career.
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Whether the New York Times Co. board is considering Thompson or actually has offered the job is a different question — one that got a “no comment” from NYTCo PR (it’s possible that the talks went public in part to push a decision from the Times). Although this is a standard response when such things come up, there could be some meat to this particular rumor: we are told it’s a job he would like, since his wife is from the U.S. and he has talked with friends about moving here for his next gig. And he could be a “get” for the NYT board, with his biggest draw being the BBC’s track record of digital innovation during his tenure.
Meanwhile, sources have brushed off speculation about most of the other candidates who have been touted in the press at various times, including Gordon Crovitz — the former Wall Street Journal publisher and co-founder/co-CEO of paywall operator Press+ — who speaks fluent newspaper, digital and premium content.