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NY Times to rebrand Herald Tribune in its own image

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

For a decade the International Herald Tribune has been the global edition of the New York Times in all but name. On Monday, the parent company made it official.

In a statement, the New York Times Company said the 125-year-old offshoot of the defunct New York Herald Tribune will be rechristened sometime this fall as the International New York Times.

"The digital revolution has turned the New York Times from being a great American newspaper to becoming one of the world's best-known news providers," said New York Times Company chief executive Mark Thompson.

"We want to exploit that opportunity," said the former BBC boss, adding that a new website for international readers is also in the pipeline.

The International Herald Tribune (IHT) was co-owned by the New York Times and the Washington Post from 1967 until 2003, when the Times became its sole proprietor and restyled it as "the global edition of the New York Times."

It almost exclusively showcased New York Times content in a bid to appeal to high-earning anglophone globe-trotters in competition with global editions of the Wall Street Journal and Britain's Financial Times.

Prior to 1967 the IHT was known as the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune -- immortalized in Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave classic "Breathless" by Jean Seberg in a tight yellow T-shirt hawking copies on the Champs-Elysees.

The New York Times published an international edition under its own name from 1946 until it bought into "the Trib" and helped oversee its development as a global media brand through the use of satellite printing plants.

News of the rebranding came less than three weeks after the New York Times Company posted a 2012 group profit of $133 million, compared with a loss of $39.7 million in 2011.

It gave no breakdown of profit or loss figures for its newspapers, but earlier this month it said it was putting the Boston Globe and other New England assets up for sale to focus on its eponymous core product.

Monday's announcement made no reference to layoffs -- half of the IHT staff are in France, where labor costs are higher -- but it stated the International New York Times "will be edited from Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York."

It also spoke vaguely of investments "in print, web and mobile platforms" as well as plans "to add more voices in news and opinion."

"The New York Times and its international edition, the IHT, have always been known for accurate and authoritative journalism that helps to set the agenda for global conversations and debate," said New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Junior, whose family holds ultimate control of the company.

"A logical next step for us as we seek to extend our international reach is to bring these two great newspapers even closer together," he said.

"As we do, we will be sure to nurture and preserve those unique qualities of the IHT that are so highly prized by its current readers."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130225/ny-times-rebrand-herald-tribune-its-own-image-2