Monday, 31 December 2007

The Future of Oreskes at the International Herald Tribune

I'm back, but I'm not sure with what regularity. A Christmas break away from the computer reminded me just how much time my blogging in December took up.

I had concluded that I would stop - as much as I love the International Herald Tribune, tapping away in the dark is just that, and to whose benefit I don't know.

But then you get an email or two, a chat here and there and you think, well, maybe now and again....

I thought I'd kick off 2008 with some classic in-house rumour reporting. That's the joy of blogging - I ain't no journalist and follow no school.

What's about then as we go into 2008?

It's clear that the NYT Co are bracing for a Murdoch onslaught, and their thinking seems to be that it will come in the USA.

The idea - as suggested on this blog - that it might come first in Europe and Asia, using other News Int properties like the London Times, to take on the IHT doesn't appear to be on the Ivy League NYT strategic planners' agenda.

Fearful of a direct assault on their home market rather than a flanking manoeuvre overseas, there is a lot of talk that the International Herald Tribune's exec editor Mike Oreskes will be spending a lot more time in NYC; perhaps even leaving the IHT altogether, in order to get home and help shore up the levies.

As to who would then control the IHT at this rather critical juncture is unclear, but the word is that there are 'issues' as to who runs the Paris ship going into 2008.

And if Oreskes is about to depart for matters perceived more important in NYC, how does that bode for continued effort and investment in the IHT? Presumably not well, especially if Golden feels he too needs to be regularly seated at the NYT table talking about Rupert.

The idea of attack (e.g going aggressively with the IHT in Murdoch central - London) being the best form of defence doesn't seem to be an idea being much talked about.

A pity, because there at my guess, c.150,000 upscale UK readers desperate for a truly independent international newspaper like the IHT.

But that would involve dropping the cover price and advertising in one of Europe's most expensive markets - London. And that means money that could be spent on defence in the USA vs the WSJ.

But don't take this rumour of Oreskes' departure to the bank.

Sources are vague, varied, and contradictory, so much so that it is very unclear to me if anything is happening at all vis a vis the top job.

If you've heard anything, drop me a line: full-discretion assured as always at

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