The New York Times.
From BBC to NYT.
从 BBC 到 NYT。
A new boss for an old paper.
THE New York Times Company, an American newspaper group, has a history of ill-fated acquisitions, such as About.com, a loss-making online information service it bought in 2005 and may soon offload. On August 14th the company appointed Mark Thompson, the departing director-general of the BBC, a British public broadcaster, as its new boss. Will Mr Thompson be another acquisition that the company will regret?
作为一家美国报纸集团，纽约时报公司的收购之路一直坎坷不平。它曾于2005年收购 About.com（一家亏损的在线信息服务商），但可能很快就要将这个包袱易手他人了。8月14日，该公司委派马克·汤普生（Mark Thompson）为新任总裁。汤普生是英国公共广播公司 BBC的总裁，但即将离任。"收购"汤普生是否将再次让纽约时报公司感到后悔？
Arthur Sulzberger, the paper's hands-on publisher and chairman, is hoping that Mr Thompson can help to rescue the Grey Lady, which has swooned because of falling print circulation and advertising revenues. Janet Robinson, chief executive since 2004, abruptly resigned last December; she had risen up through the ranks of the advertising division.
《纽约时报》凡事亲力亲为的出版人兼董事长阿瑟·苏兹伯格（Arthur Sulzberger）希望汤普生能够帮助拯救由于印刷版发行量下滑、广告收入降低而深陷泥潭的"灰色女士"。自2004年起担任《纽约时报》执行总裁的詹妮特·罗宾逊（Janet Robinson）于去年十二月突然辞职；她在就任总裁之前曾在公司广告部工作，后来步步高升。
Expertise of that sort is passe: newspapers can no longer rely on big cheques from advertisers to sustain them. Mr Thompson, the thinking goes, can help to boost revenues by attracting a more global audience and experimenting with new platforms. Under his leadership, the BBC launched innovative tools, such as the iPlayer, a popular online television and radio service.
广告这种专长已经落伍了：报纸公司现在已经无法依靠广告商的大额支票来养活自己了。《纽约时报》认为汤普生能够吸引更多来自全球各地的读者并尝试新的平台，借此来帮助公司增加收入。BBC 曾在他的领导下推出了创新业务，比如受人欢迎的在线电视广播服务 iPlayer。
But Mr Thompson is an odd choice to lead a big, struggling private company. One analyst uncharitably compares his appointment to hiring the boss of a big charity to do a corporate turnaround. Mr Thompson has spent most of his career in public-service broadcasting at the BBC, save for a few years as boss of Britain's Channel 4 television, a commercial broadcaster. The BBC is state-backed, and owes its survival to a tax on every household in Britain with a television set. That tax brought in ￡3.6 billion ($5.8 billion) last year.
但选择汤普生来领导一家在泥潭中挣扎的大型私营公司，不免有些奇怪。一位分析人士刻薄地将任命汤普生比作雇佣大型慈善机构的老板来重振商业公司。除了曾在一家商业电视台——英国第四频道担任了几年总裁之外，汤普生大部分的生涯都花在 BBC 公共服务广播方面。BBC 是由国家支持的，其生存依靠税收维系。在英国，每个有电视机的家庭都需要缴纳这笔税收。去年，该税收让 BBC 进账36亿英镑（合58亿美元）。
The New York Times, by contrast, needs to make money to survive. The fundamental challenge facing newspapers, says Mark Oliver of Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates, a consultancy, is how to get readers to pay for news online. At the BBC Mr Thompson did not have to worry about that.
相比之下，《纽约时报》需要赚钱才能生存。一家咨询公司——奥利弗和欧哈巴姆联合公司（Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates）的马克·奥利弗（Mark Oliver）表示，报纸公司所面临的根本挑战在于如何让读者为在线新闻付费。而在 BBC，汤普生不需要为此担心。
He will have to start. Recently the New York Times found some success getting more online readers to fork out. Last year it adjusted its pay wall and by June had boosted the number of digital subscribers to 509,000 between the New York Times and its stablemate, the International Herald Tribune, up by 12% in three months. However, the company still relies on advertisers for over 40% of its revenues, and online advertising rates are lower than those in print. Mr Thompson will have to devise a more radical business plan than trying to catch print papers' fleeing subscribers.
现在他得开始考虑这个问题了。最近，《纽约时报》成功地让更多的在线读者大掏腰包了。去年，该报调整了其支付墙。截至去年六月为止，《纽约时报》和同公司的《国际先驱论坛报》（the International Herald Tribune）的数字订户增加到了50.9万人，在三个月内上升了12%。然而，该公司超过40%的收入仍然依赖于广告商，而在线广告费用相比印刷版要低一些。汤普生将必须设计出更具新意的商业方案，而不是试图去挽留印刷版迅速流失的订户。
He will also have to confront Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation, who has tried to lure away some of the New York Times's subscribers and advertisers by bulking up the Wall Street Journal's general coverage and its news about New York in particular. Mr Thompson may relish the fight: as boss of the BBC, he publicly criticised Mr Murdoch's (unsubsidised) British television network for threatening to "dwarf" its rivals. So he will fit right in with the Manhattan media set. But complaining about Mr Murdoch is not the same thing as beating him.
他还将不得不对抗新闻集团（News Corporation）的鲁伯特·默多克（Rupert Murdoch）。默多克一直试图吸引部分《纽约时报》的订户和广告商，为此，他增大了《华尔街日报》（the Wall Street Journal）的总体报道范围，特别是纽约方面的新闻报道。汤普生可能会从这场争斗中获得乐趣：他在 BBC 担任总裁时，曾公开抨击默多克（不受政府资助的）英国电视网络，称该网络扬言要将让其竞争对手"显得渺小"。因此汤普生将与曼哈顿媒体模式完全相符。但要战胜默多克，可不只是发发牢骚那么简单