Mark Thompson: Keeping Nate Silver at NYT was not ‘an overwhelming priority’

August 23, 2013
Category: Uncategorized

New York

Joe Hagan’s look at New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson’s tenure so far contains many, many tweetable and chewable moments for New York Times obsessives — his presence in the newsroom “was like a belch in a cathedral nave,” for instance, and Sam Sifton was moved from the national desk to create an online magazine “inspired by the corporate consulting firm McKinsey & Co.”

But perhaps the most intriguing nugget is that Nate Silver decided to leave the Times “because he felt it was Thompson who had not committed to building his franchise.”

For [Executive Editor Jill] Abramson, Silver was a tentpole attraction for her favorite subject, national politics, and brought the kind of buzz she thought valuable. In an interview, Thompson confirmed that keeping Silver was not at the top of his agenda: “I would not say it was an overwhelming priority,” he says. “During the election period, he was obviously a very significant figure. Off-season, it’s a slightly different story.”

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