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Thompson would not have taken the top CNN job if he didn’t intend to impose dramatic transformations that more thoughtfully align the network’s editorial efforts with its business ambitions.
Thompson would not have taken the top CNN job if he didn’t intend to impose dramatic transformations that more thoughtfully align the network’s editorial efforts with its business ambitions. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
September 1, 2023

In the summer of 2020, shortly before Mark Thompson stepped down as chief executive of The New York Times Co., he gave an interview to CNN from a charmingly spartan kitchen in western Maine and was asked to reflect on the resoundingly successful tenure during which he’d helped the Sulzbergers transform their indebted, moribund print paper into a profitable, subscriber-supported digital news and lifestyle brand. Thompson, a veteran of British television who’d served as top executive at both Channel Four and the BBC, entered the job with no experience in American media and, indeed, no experience running a for-profit company. Yet in eight short years, the Times had amassed 6.5 million subscriptions. In the process, the company more than quadrupled both its digital-only sub revenue and the $NYT share price.