Here comes the “International New York Times” — NYT rebrands the Int’l Herald Tribune

NYT newspapers

The New York Times has taken another step in its strategy of becoming a global news brand. On Monday, the company announced it will rename the International Herald Tribune and officially launch a publication called the “International New York Times” later this year.

The Times has wholly owned the IHT since 2003 and merged the websites of the two publications in 2009. The IHT is distributed in print around the world and contains large selections of New York Times content (including the crossword) as well as content from affiliates like Spain’s El Pais.

From a branding perspective, the decision to rename the IHT is consistent with the Times’ larger strategy of finding growth in international markets. Part of this strategy involves divesting regional and non-core properties; the New York Times Company has already sold its chain of southern newspapers as well as About.com and, last week, it put the Boston Globe up for sale.

In this new global newspaper paradigm, the Times is primarily competing with two other publications — the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times — for an international audience.

“Our goal is to capitalize on the great journalistic traditions of both newspapers, further invest in our international journalism and expand our global base while continuing to serve the many loyal readers of the IHT,” explained New York Times Company CEO Mark Thomspon in a news release.

In regard to digital growth — an area of critical importance for the Times — it’s difficult to evaluate the IHT’s performance since the company includes digital subscriptions to the IHT with those to the NYT. At the end of 2012, combined total subscriptions to both publications was around 640,000 (it’s a safe bet the vast majority of those are to the NYT).

In its release on Monday, the company said the International New York Times will be tailored and edited specifically for global audiences.

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