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Does Observer Story Reflect A More Aggressive NY Times PR Strategy?

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How much more can be written about The New York Times versus The Wall Street Journal rivalry? A lot more, mostly because the Journal will launch its New York edition — aimed directly at taking advertising revenue and readers away from the Times — in a few weeks.

One of the recent moves in this battle is the Times hiring former Dow Jones VP of Communications Bob Christie to head up PR.

When we spoke with Christie the day the move was announced, he said little besides that he was “very excited about the opportunity.”

But now, it seems, the gloves are coming off.


In a story today in The New York Observer, Christie comments on a recent flare up in which Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was featured in a Weekend Journal section that “included a cropped image of the lower part of [his] face, in a graphic that accompanied a story on how women from healthier populations prefer feminine-looking men,” writes the Observer‘s John Koblin.

Koblin solicited the following comment from Christie on the matter:

We have moved on…And we are focused on the high-quality journalism that we produce every day and that’s why we won three Pulitzers on Monday. The readers and employees of The Wall Street Journal deserve much better than this type of juvenile behavior from its editor in chief.

Does this comment reflect a more aggressive Times PR strategy?

Reached for comment today, Mr. Christie not surprisingly declined to talk strategy. However, he did say, regarding the Observer story, “our version of the events and [Journal editor-in-chief] Robert Thomson‘s are much different.”

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