June 7, 2017

Kinsey Wilson, the executive vice president for product and technology at The New York Times, is leaving the company in an executive shuffle that will see Chief Revenue Officer Meredith Kopit Levien assume oversight of the The New York Times’ product and design offerings.

Levien’s new title is Chief Operating Officer. Her salary will increase to $750,000, and her targeted incentive compensation for 2017 will be 100 percent of her base salary, according to an SEC filing.

Wilson, the former chief content officer of NPR, joined The New York Times in 2015 as editor for innovation and strategy. His star rose quickly at The Times, earning him a promotion to executive vice president of product and technology as the company sought to accelerate the newsroom’s adoption of product development and digital technology. (Disclosure: Wilson is a member of Poynter’s board of trustees)

Wilson will continue to consult with CEO Mark Thompson bringing the company’s journalism to other major digital platforms, and guide the creation of an expanded audio strategy, according to a press release from the company.

“During Kinsey’s tenure as the head of product and technology, The Times continued to build the best and most commercially successful digital news products in the world and assembled a brilliant team of engineers, designers and product and data specialists,” Thompson said. “I am profoundly grateful to him for his vision, his immense expertise and his creativity.”

Levien’s appointment comes on the heels of significant digital revenue growth at The New York Times. In May, The Times announced the addition of 308,000 net digital subscribers in the first quarter of 2017, pushing it past the 2 million subscriber mark. Digital advertising revenue grew 19 percent year-over-year, despite a slowdown in print advertising that was endemic to the entire industry.

A 2015 profile of Levien in Digiday described her as a true believer in The Times’ editorial mission and a regular confidant of its Executive Editor, Dean Baquet:

‘I feel like I can talk with her about anything,’ Baquet said. ‘I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t talk to Meredith.’ Levien, he said, gets the importance of the Times’ mission, and her native advertising plan respects that. ‘It’s clearly labeled; to be frank, I think it’s high quality.’

As part of her promotion, Levien will oversee Beta, the team responsible for creating mobile-first, service journalism-oriented offerings at The Times.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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