By Bron Maher, PressGazette, Oct. 5, 2023


The opinion editor of The New York Times, Kathleen Kingsbury, says the paper has metrics on which columnists drive the most subscriptions – but she doesn’t use them to decide who to commission next.

Kingsbury was in London to see her team of “eight to ten” staff in the city – although she noted she was “always recruiting new writers, so that’s another part of the visit.”

Globally, the New York Times opinion section employs some 150 people, triple its size in 2017 when Kingsbury joined The New York Times as deputy editorial page editor.

Asked about the business case for that investment, Kingsbury said columnists were “one of the best tools” the publisher had for reader retention.

Some paywalled publishers today use sophisticated tech to figure out which types of content drive the most subscriptions – and The New York Times has the most digital news subscribers of any publisher in the world. But asked whether The New York Times knew which columnists drove the most sign-ups, Kingsbury said: “I mean, we have those numbers, but we don’t use them…

“I feel extremely lucky – I don’t have pressure around metrics in any way.”

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