Scratch Ep. 18 – How to Transform a 100-Year-Old Company with David Rubin of The New York Times

In today’s episode, Dean Aragón joins Eric in a conversation with David Rubin, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of The New York Times, the storied newspaper with many millions of paid subscribers. The paper’s first CMO in its 100+ year history, David talks about how celebrating the NYT’s product leads to the business’ success.  

There was lots of pushback when The New York Times made the controversial decision to place a paywall in front of some of its products back in 2011. But the decision to charge readers for the news paid off and now it has paywalls to aspects of its core product, Cooking, Games, and the newly acquired Athletic. How does the NYT convince customers to pay for their product when there is so much free news out there? The answer comes down to quality. David and his team highlight “how the sausage is made” in the brand’s ad campaigns, emphasizing that subscribing is the best way to help in its journalistic mission, and help maintain the journalism’s unparalleled quality. And for all your Wordle aficionados, David insists that the game did not become more difficult after being purchased by the Times. Tell that to my mom, David. 

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