New York Times Debuts M&A E-Mail Newsletter

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Undeterred by jittery financial markets and a possible advertising recession, The New York Times Co.'s NYTimes.com site today has debuted a mergers and acquisition e-mail for online readers of the publication.


Compiled by Andrew Ross Sorkin, The Times' chief M&A reporter, the free e-mail already has sold out ad inventory through December to clothier Brooks Brothers and Swedish-run Europe Investor Direct.


"I don't think it's wise for us to manage our business totally on the exigencies of the short-term marketplace," said Martin Nisenholtz, CEO of New York Times Digital, New York.


"I mean, we've always had to be balancing the needs or short-term performance, which I think we've demonstrated we can do, with the need to develop the business longer term."


Called the DealBook, the e-mail is a daily briefing about mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, private equity transactions, venture capital deals and Wall Street goings-on -- all delivered before the stock market opens.


Initially in text format and soon in HTML, the e-mail also offers analyst presentations, press releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its compilation includes articles from other publications including The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.


Target subscribers are investment bankers, lawyers, executives at government regulatory agencies, high net-worth investors and consumers interested in such news.


The e-mail is part of The Times' online strategy to launch reporter-branded newsletters covering important industry segments. For example, Stuart Elliott sends out an advertising e-mail and David Pogue has his Circuits missive, which looks at high-tech and information technology issues.


"This is not a mass-market play, but it is a very high-end group of people who are difficult to reach through traditional media channels and we're attempting to aggregate them with this e-mail," Nisenholtz said.


Registered subscribers to NYTimes.com can go to www.nytimes.com/email, check the DealBook sign-up box and click on the save button. Visitors who are not registered can create an account and will then be taken to the e-mail sign-up page.


Links across NYTimes.com and mentions in the regular e-mail newsletters to subscribers will help boost awareness and drive subscriptions.


"Right now we're running about 500 to 600 sign-ups a day, but expect that to double or even triple" in the weeks ahead, said Christine Mohan, senior manager of public relations at The Times.


Aiming at such a powerhouse financial audience is likely to increase The Times' fabled rivalry with The Wall Street Journal and to create added competition for advertisers that go to The Journal for such financial coverage.


For instance, Brooks Brothers, the Marks & Spencer-owned retail chain, is looking to sell more suits and apparel to Wall Street and executives in the financial and legal services markets. Hence its decision to place banners in the DealBook e-mails.


"I would suggest we go head-to-head with The Wall Street Journal every day with our Web site's business and technology sections," Nisenholtz said. "Competing with The Journal is not new to us, and we'll continue to do it in those areas where we need to be strong."


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