NEW YORK”•The New York Times has seen an exceptional surge in digital subscriptions in the period just before and after the November election, its top executive said Monday.
New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson told a business conference the prestigious daily has added more than 200,000 net subscribers since late September.
“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the willingness to pay for serious independent journalism,” Thompson told the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
The newspaper had some 1.55 million subscribers at the end of September for digital services, including news and crossword puzzles.
Some weeks have seen new subscriptions at 10 times the pace of last year.
“We’re getting very close to having three million overall subscriptions” for print, print and digital, digital only and crosswords, he said.
The newspaper said it saw a net increase of 41,000 paid subscriptions in the week after the November 8 vote, including print and digital, calling it the largest one-week subscription increase since it started its paywall in 2011.
The Times was among the media attacked by Donald Trump during his presidential race, as the newspaper launched a series of investigations that revealed his reported tax loss of more than $900 million.
After the election, the president-elect sat down with reporters and editors at the newspaper for a wide-ranging discussion, after which he called the daily a “world jewel.”
While the Times has been struggling financially as it tries to make a transition to more digital readership, Thompson said the recent election may have been helpful to the newspaper.
He said some of the reasons for gains include “anxiety about fake news” and a “belief that politicians are saying things that are not true and need to be held to account.”
He added: “We expect the lively new cycle to continue in America and given the events in Europe beyond America, well into 2017.”