Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. is stepping down as New York Times publisher at the end of the year, and his son Arthur Gregg (A.G.) Sulzberger will take his place. The younger Sulzberger, a 37-year-old who was named deputy publisher 14 months ago, will represent the fifth generation of his family to take the paper’s reins.
The question of who would succeed Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was an open one as recently as 2015, when three members of the extended family were in the running for the job. Along with A.G., there were his cousins Sam Dolnick and David Perpich. But as New York pointed out then, A.G. was always the favorite because of his experience both in the newsroom and on the paper’s business side, along with this work on the “Innovation Report,” a guide for success at the paper in the digital age. Plus, he has the right last name.
Sulzberger will officially take over on January 1, 2018, and will lead the paper at a tenuous time for American media. He acknowledged that reality in an email to the paper’s staff Thursday. “At a time when our company and our industry are under greater pressure than ever before, we are proving that there is a path forward for the type of quality journalism that a healthy society relies upon,” Sulzberger wrote.
He didn’t mention President Trump, but he didn’t have to. At a time when the media, and the Times in particular, is under regular attack by the White House, the paper is succeeding. As of last week, it had 130 million monthly readers, more than double the number from two years prior. That’s not what any sane person would call “failing.”