NYT exec speaks out: 'We are not the opposition to the current administration'

The New York Times COO is on a new episode of "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."

January 16, 2018, 10:20 AM
PHOTO: Meredith Kopit Levien, EVP and COO of The New York Times Company.
Meredith Kopit Levien, EVP and COO of The New York Times Company.
The New York Times

— -- The New York Times introduced a new paywall in December that slashed its free articles in half, from 10 to five. The move was all part of Meredith Kopit Levien's mission to understand where news consumption is headed.

“You can describe the business model -- not the journalism, not the mission -- but the business model of The New York Times in five words: ‘Make something worth paying for,’” Kopit Levien, executive vice president and chief operating officer of The New York Times Company, told Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis.”

Kopit Levien was named COO of The New York Times in June 2017 and is the first person to hold that role in the company in over a decade. Prior to her current position, she was The Times' head of advertising and chief revenue officer.

“I would say I have a voracious interest in where media consumption is going and how original, independent, quality journalism fits into that,” she said.

As COO, she oversees the teams responsible for digital product, design, audience and brand, and consumer revenue and advertising. Kopit Levien is at the forefront of The New York Times’ digital revolution and less than six months into her role as COO, The Times reported that its digital advertising revenue had risen 11 percent in the third quarter of 2017, and digital-only subscriptions had reached nearly 2.5 million.

Kopit Levien said The Times understands that “news is a relationship business,” adding, “We have to treat everybody fairly and you know, fairness means people can speak their minds.”

She went on, “The New York Times believes that journalism should provide a place for intelligent thoughtful dialogue from all perspectives. We are not the opposition to the current administration. We are not an advocacy organization. We are a place for intelligent ideas and debate of all kinds and you're going to see us continue to push it that way.”

The self-described "lifelong lover of journalism" has always wanted society “to have a shared fact base.”

“It's really about bringing your whole self to work because people are most comfortable when they aren't trying to compensate for something they really aren’t,” she explained.

And could bitcoin be a new form of payment for this fast-growing subscriber base?

“Such a good question, I’m not going to answer that. You’ll have to find out,” Kopit Levien said.

Hear more of Meredith Kopit Levien’s interview on this week’s episode of “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn and the ABC News app.

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