NYTimes.com Shakes Up Business Staff With Pending Metered Offer In Mind; Smurl Gets The Pay P&L

A batch of personnel changes at NYTimes.com as the The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) fllagship site starts the year-long planning to switch to a metered system in early 2011. Paul Smurl, now VP of advertising, gets the “make it work” role as VP of NYTimes.com paid products. He will be responsible for implementing the metered model — and for its financial performance, as well as revenue responsibility for crossword subscriptions and mobile game products. After the meter build out, he will be focus on “growing paid products into significant businesses.” He’ll report to Denise Warren, SVP and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group and GM, NYTimes.com.

The other changes at NYTimes.com:

Eliot Pierce gets more responsibility as VP-advertising and digital strategy, business development and ad operations, NYTimes.com, from VP-operations and strategy. He will handle advertising planning and digital ad operations, while continuing to oversee digital strategy and biz dev for the site. (He may also win the longest title award.)

Nick Ascheim gets the new role of VP-new ventures, shifting from VP-product management. He’ll be responsible for extending the NYT’s reach into “different products, services and platforms, including new video opportunities.” Ascheim and Pierce report to Warren.

Ira Silberstein switches to VP-product management and classifieds from VP-classified products.

Rob Larson will head search effort as VP- search products, shifting from VP-digital production. He will focus on the Open Topic platform and semantic Web initiative, while continuing to manage The New York Times Index, Times Online Services and The Times