This memo just went out to New York Times employees from assistant managing editor Rick Berke—free lunch, if you can think of a way to save the paper some cash!
To the Newsroom:
Many of you have asked how you could share your thoughts and ideas about ensuring a healthy financial future for The New York Times.
There is an active channel from the newsroom to the business side. Several committees, with representation from news and business, are actively exploring various money-making pursuits. And every week, newsroom representatives have been attending breakfasts held by the company's business leadership to hear what is on their minds.
And to make sure all corners of the newsroom have a voice, at the start of the year, we began organizing regular lunches with newsroom employees at all levels to offer their money making (and saving) ideas — large and small — for the Times. This is all about ways to better capitalize on our journalism.
These sessions are always attended by Bill, Jill, other members of the newsroom masthead, and a representative from the business side. We have had four lunches already, and they have been inspiring; a reminder of not only the depth of wisdom and cutting edge ideas in the newsroom, but of the devotion we all have to the continued success of The Times.
Summaries of the lunches have been forwarded to the business side. The ideas have ranged from ambitious multi-paged business models (in one case by a Harvard MBA who is a reporter here) to practical cost-saving notions like cutting back on paper in the newsroom.
Tom Carley, the senior vice president of planning, said many of the ideas had already been under consideration by the business side, but that the lunches have helped give his staff sharper focus. He said some of the ideas from the lunches have been rejected. But the encouraging news is that there are several suggestions that the business staff is now actively considering.
After the most recent lunch, Tom told me he appreciated the "intelligence and passion of the newsroom.''
If you have an idea — any idea — that you would like to share with the news and/or business management, forward it to me and I will make sure it gets to the right person at the highest levels. If you prefer, Bill said he'd be happy to take your emails directly.
And if you are interested in attending one of our upcoming brainstorming lunches, let me know.