A New Sulzberger Takes Command At The Times
By Chip Rowe
Chip Rowe, a former AJR associate editor, is an editor at Playboy.
By the time 40-year-old Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. steps down as publisher of the New York Times , the old "Gray Lady" may be extinct.
Sulzberger, who took the reins in January from his 65-year-old father, will be the first publisher in the paper's 140-year history to see color on its pages. A new $450 million plant in New Jersey should be completed this year to colorize advance Sunday sections, and the newspaper plans eventually to build a plant to replace its 43rd Street presses that would bring color to the news and sports pages.
But, says Sulzberger, "I'm not of the school that color is a requirement in the delivery of news. The paper's been pretty successful without it in the past 100 years."
The fourth generation of his family to lead the paper, Sulzberger says he "honest to God" never felt any pressure to become a newspaperman. "As long as I can remember, it's what I've wanted to be," he says. A reporter at the Raleigh, North Carolina, Times and AP before joining the Times in 1978, he is noted for his habit of riding the subway to work and appearing at times in the newsroom in shirtsleeves.
Some pundits have also tabbed Sulzberger as "Pinch"--a play on the "Punch" moniker of his father, who was publisher for 19 years. He hates it. "My friends call me Arthur," he says. "People who don't know me write me letters and such addressed to 'Pinch.' I don't have to tell you those go right to the 'out' box."###