NEW YORK — In a generational changing of the guard, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, 37, will become publisher of The New York Times on Jan. 1. His father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., announced Thursday that he was ceding the post to his son.
The ascension of the younger Sulzberger, known as A.G., comes just over a year after he was named deputy publisher. The New York Times Co.’s board voted in favor of the move Thursday. The elder Sulzberger, 66, who will stay on as chairman, has been publisher since 1992.
“This isn’t a goodbye,” Sulzberger said in a note to employees. “But, beginning in the new year, the grand ship that is The Times will be A.G.’s to steer.”
Known for heading the team that produced The Times’s “innovation report” in 2014, A.G. Sulzberger will be the sixth member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family to serve as publisher since its patriarch, Adolph S. Ochs, purchased the paper in a bankruptcy sale in 1896.
“I am an unapologetic champion for this institution and its journalistic mission,” A.G. Sulzberger said. “And I’ll continue to be that as publisher.”
Despite his in-house reputation as an innovator, the incoming publisher said that he did not expect to shake things up early in his tenure.
“I don’t expect there to be some flurry of change,” he said.
During his quarter-century tenure as publisher, the elder Sulzberger presided over the paper’s national expansion and guided it through the advent of the Internet. In 1996, he moved The Times online. In 2011, when media companies were unsure of their digital strategies, he instituted a pay wall that at the time risked pushing away readers but has since become the centerpiece of the company’s growth model.
In recent years, as advertising revenues declined sharply, The Times’s business plan has focused on digital expansion. The Times, with 3.5 million paid subscribers (2.5 million of them digital-only), is one of the few newspaper companies whose newsroom is growing.
The elder Sulzberger’s term was not without turmoil, including the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal and the firing of a CEO and two executive editors. Yet the newsroom, with 1,450 journalists, is larger now than it was when he started his term.