editor Mary J. Loftus visited five Emory alumni in the City
of Light last summer. Her interview with Michael Golden
84MBA, publisher of the International Herald
Tribune, anchors our special section, Emory in Paris.
The following links will bring you to stories about fellow
Hoda 96MBA, Marilyn
Kaye 71C-74G, Marcio
Mendes 98B, and Ronnie
scion of the New York Times family wants to make
the International Herald Tribune required reading
outside the Paris headquarters of the International
Herald Tribune, at 6 bis rue des Graviers, the days
paper is displayed behind glass so passersby can read
the top news stories.
this humid morning in late July, the Herald Tribunes
front page is a reader-friendly mix of politics, business
news, and current events. Headlines read: In Europe,
passionate cheering for Kerry; Google is bullish
on its own worth; Russians take aim at imitators
of the AK-47. Datelines pepper the pages from London,
Mexico City, Cairo, Berlin, and Moscow.
publisher Michael Golden 84MBA
(left) strides through the first-floor newsroom, where
editors and reporters are busily transcribing notes and
reading wire copy. A vice president of The New York Times
Company and a member of the family that controls the newspaper,
Golden was named publisher of the International Herald
Tribune in November 2003 and was charged with revitalizing
the century-old paper, which bills itself as The
Worlds Daily Newspaper. Though distributed
in 185 countries, it had been losing money for several
paper has to be a financial success in order to survive,
says Golden. Theres no such thing as a successful,
fifty-five, has worked in management positions at The
New York Times Company for the past twenty years, largely
in the companys magazine group, serving as production
manager of Family Circle and publisher of McCalls
and Tennis magazines. He became vice chairman and senior
vice president of The New York Times Company in 1997.
being named publisher of the International Herald Tribune,
Golden and his wife, Anne, moved from New York City into
a furnished Left Bank apartment in the Sixth Arrondissement.
He has spent the months since working to make the International
Herald Tribune required reading around the globe.
the Herald Tribune is competing with the likes
of the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal,
Golden doesnt intend it to become strictly a business
publication. Indeed, the Herald Tribune offers
plenty of lighter, brighter fare: this days style
section is anchored by an article on demure swimsuits
coming back into fashion, accompanied by photos of high-fashion
models in retro tanks, and the culture pages mix movie
and book reviews with tidbits of Hollywood gossip. Even
the grey listings of stock quotes from the New York Stock
Exchange, NASDAQ, and other world markets are capped off
by a half-dozen American comic strips, from Dilbert
want to be a must-read as well as a want-to-read
paper in the office and at home, Golden says. Were
of interest to people who want to gain the broader business
perspective, which includes politics, economics, cultural
trends, and fashion.
who has a masters degree in journalism from the
University of Missouri and an MBA degree from Emory, has
the demeanor of a confident newsman who is comfortable
with all sides of the business. As well he should: he
was born into a family with newspaper ink coursing through
its veins. His great-grandfather, Adolph S. Ochs, the
son of poor German-Jewish immigrants, bought the Chattanooga
Times in 1878 and the New York Times eighteen
years later. Goldens grandfather, Arthur Hays Sulzberger
(Ochs son-in-law), was the publisher of the New
York Times from 1935 to 1961. His mother, Ruth Sulzberger
Golden Holmberg, was the publisher and chair of the Chattanooga
Times for almost thirty years.
sense of the Times as a family enterprise persists: fourth-generation
descendants, Golden among them, own a large portion of
New York Times Company stock, control the board of directors,
and set policies on everything from making charitable
donations to involving the next generation.
company has been a real point of cohesion for us,
says Golden. We realize the reason the family is
still together into the sixth generation, who are really
just babies at this point, is because of the business.
after Ochs bought the New York Times in 1896, he
established the papers slogan, All The News
Thats Fit To Print, as a jibe to competing
papers known for yellow journalism. The paper had gained
such popularity by 1904 that when it relocated to a new
office on Forty-second Street, the area was named Times
Square. A century later, The New York Times Company is
a publicly traded multimedia conglomerate with annual
revenues of $3.2 billion. Among its marquee holdings are
the New York Times, the International Herald
Tribune, and the Boston Globe, as well as sixteen
other newspapers, eight network-affiliated television
stations, two New York City radio stations, and more than
forty Web sites, including NYTimes.com and IHT.com.
recently, the International Herald Tribune had
been owned in a 50-50 partnership by the New York Times
and the Washington Posttwo competitive family
dynasties sharing an unlikely joint venture. In 2002,
according to an article in the Posts financial
section, the Times Company forcefully maneuvered
the Washington Post Company into selling its half of the
paper for $65 million, leaving Post company executives
was more contentious than a business deal, Golden
admits. You could characterize it as a divorce.
But we were absolutely convinced that dual ownership wasnt
working. Instead of two owners, there was no owner.
the seven years since Goldens first cousin, Arthur
Sulzberger Jr., took over as publisher of the New York
Times from his father, the company has aggressively
expanded the New York Times brand across various
media, from the Internet to television stations. The purchase
of the International Herald Tribune and the placement
of Golden at the helm were intended to expand the companys
influence across continents.
New York Times had become a national newspaper,
Golden says, so we started turning our attention
toward a global-international newspaper.
has a deep and rich understanding of the newspaper industry
in general and The New York Times Company in particular,
Sulzberger said when announcing the appointment in 2003.
I am confident [he and his team] will bring the
papers quality journalism to an even larger global
for his part, was eager to take up the challenge. He speaks
French, having spent a few years teaching English at the
Franco-American Institute in Rennes, where he lived with
Anne after receiving his bachelors and masters
in education from Lehigh University in 1974.
Michael first told me of his new job opportunity, it was,
obviously, a complete surprise. And a bit of a shock.
We were leading a very comfortable life in New York,
says Anne Golden, who met Golden in college and married
him in 1971. But my very first reaction to the question,
How would you like to live in Paris? was basically
an immediate and unqualified yes.
talked at length about the pros and cons over dinner that
night, but with both their daughters growntwenty-eight-year-old
Margot is a student at Arizona State University in Tempe,
and twenty-five-year-old Rachel is a marketing coordinator
at the Denver Newspaper Agencythere was little hesitation.
knew, says Anne Golden, that this would be
a fascinating adventure.
firmly believes her husband is the right man for the job.
Michael is a very good listener and he likes looking
at the big picture. He is really good at synthesizing
other peoples opinions and making sense of long
conversations or meetings. He understands the need for
compromise and is quite good at recognizing peoples
who, like many executives, relies on knowing when to delegate
and to whom, says many of the skills he learned in Emorys
executive MBA program have proven essential.
that base of knowledge was useful because it broadened
my field of vision and allowed me to engage with the business
side of the newspaper, he says. I can follow
pretty complicated accounting conversations. And Im
able to [detect] whether other people are blowing smoke
who served on the board of directors of the International
Herald Tribune for five years and was familiar with
its operation, has skillfully guided the paper through
this difficult transition, says Alison Smale, deputy foreign
editor of the New York Times, who came to the Herald
Tribune to serve as its managing editor in January
Times-Post ownership, there had been no court of adjudication
between what the business side and the journalism side
felt was right for the paper, and they were left to tussle
it out, Smale says. The paper lacked a single,
unified vision. Michaels a very balanced individual,
quite secure in his own skin. He used classic management
techniques to inculcate a firm sense of mission across
mission, says Golden, is one shared by the entire New
York Times Company: to enhance society by creating, collecting,
and distributing high quality news, information, and entertainment.
have to be lively and engaging as well as informative
and thought provoking, he says. The scarce
resource today is time. Whether its watching CNN,
reading Newsweek, or taking the kids to school, people
have a lot to do. If your product is not high enough on
their list of priorities, its not going to make
values, says Golden, are still based on those held by
his great-grandfather long ago.
follow a lot of the same principles that Adolph Ochs articulated,
he says. The New York Times was a failing
paper when he bought it. But he reduced the sale price
from three cents to two cents while increasing the quality.
He believed strongly in the separation of news and advertisingthat
one didnt influence the other. And he recognized
that the only thing we have to sell is the credibility
and reputation of the paper.
of the internal debates at the International Herald
Tribune has long been, Is the paper too American?
In fact, the intent at first was to rename the International
Herald Tribunewhich began as the Paris edition
of the New York Herald Tribune in 1887 the
International New York Times. But market
research showed widespread resistance to the reflagging.
report back was clear, says Golden, drinking coffee
in the rooftop conference room where such decisions are
often hashed out. The International Herald Tribune
was seen as an independent international newspaper, and
the International New York Times was seen as American.
The decision was easy.
many of the Herald Tribunes stories are supplied
by the New York Times fifteen hundred reporters,
the paper can hardly avoid an American flavor, but Golden
is instituting changes both large and small to make the
paper more globalsuch as increasing coverage of
world markets; including more soccer, cricket, and rugby;
and adding a variety of voices to the op-ed pages. Hes
also overseeing general editorial improvements, such as
extending deadlines to accommodate more breaking news,
expanding the amount of news space, and adding color to
the front and back pages.
Herald Tribune strongly courts elite international
executives and opinion leaders, as well as readers who
consider themselves global citizens. The biggest
markets for the Herald Tribune, which has a daily
circulation of about 245,000, are France, Japan, Germany,
South Korea, and Switzerland.
audience of the International Herald Tribune is
fundamentally different than the audience of the New
York Times, Golden says. They are both
affluent, well-placed in their careers, and interested
in a wide range of information. But the International
Herald Tribunes readership is one-third American
expats and Americans traveling abroad, one-third expats
from other countries, and one-third [French] nationals.
IHT may have an American style of journalism, but it is
an international publication. We create our own face and
our own scoops, Smale says. We just did a
series on the European Union that were very proud
of, and we have taken the lead on talking about what constitutes
the new Europe and the limits of European unity. Its
amazing to me that from the western shores of Ireland
to the borders of the Ukraine, people voted to send representatives
to the same democratic legislature.
the same time, she says, Europeans and others are
thirsty for news about the United States and its participation
in the world at the moment. I cant imagine that
will abate. And, through our ever-closer attachment to
the New York Times, we have access to the best
Washington reporting there is.
an English-language newspaper owned by an American company
for a world readership is often an exercise in diplomacy.
But Golden harbors no doubts.
International Herald Tribune is one of the worlds
great newspapers, Golden says. The breadth
of its news report is unique among daily global papers
and it is valued for its strong and independent voice.
We are building upon an already strong base.
to return to Autumn 2004 table of contents.