Monday, February 25, 2013

The New York Times updates its iOS apps, will rename the International Herald Tribune, won't sell Globe to TNM

The New York Times today issued updates to its iPhone and iPad apps, adding new features. The company also announced that it would rename The International Herald Tribune.

NYTimes for iPad has new search capabilities, a much hoped for addition to the tablet edition which is build off the newspaper's website rather than the print edition. The search function will find articles in the tablet edition, as well as A tap of an article's headline will also pull up search in order to find relevant articles, or to save or share them.

Meanwhile, NYTimes, the iPhone app, has a new "swipe to dismiss Breaking News" function, and fixes bugs.

The NYT also announced today that it would be renaming its international newspaper published in Paris. The 125-year-old The International Herald Tribune (IHT) will become The International New York Times. The move appears to be an effort to focus in on its main brand, the NYT.

“The digital revolution has turned The New York Times from being a great American newspaper to becoming one of the world’s best-known news providers. We want to exploit that opportunity,” Mark Thompson, president and chief executive of The New York Times Company, said in a statement.

The announcement by the NYT did not say whether this move would effect staffers at the IHT.

As the NYT's story relates the paper was formerly known as the The New York Herald, then the paper became The New York Herald Tribune in 1959. The paper finally became the IHT in 1967 when both the NYT and The Washington Post Company bailed out the paper (the WaPo was bought out of its investment in 2003).

Content within the IHT is, for the most part, indistinguishable from that of the NYT since so much of the news comes from the Times. The IHT is, however, a well-edited international newspaper that allows readers on both sides of the pond to focus in on international news. It is also often a welcome sight for travelers and ex-pats in Europe, and I am sure the move will be somewhat disappointing to long time readers.

The NYT has been making quite a number of financial moves of late, as word leaked out last week that it would divest itself of The Boston Globe. Quite a number of bidders have been rumored for the property, though talk that TNM would be acquiring the 140-year-old newspaper have proven unfounded.