How the NYT is building a modern tech stack to drive every part of its media business • TechCrunch
If every company has become a technology company, so The New York Times is a prime example. Although it started as a printed newspaper 171 years ago, in 1851, that same company is today a technology-driven media company.
As the transition has been ongoing to some extent for decades, the NYT brought in Jason Sobel in the summer of 2021 as Chief Technology Officer to accelerate the transformation into a modern technology organization.
Sobel brings 15 years of pure engineering expertise to the job, including long stints at Airbnb and Facebook, where he helped lead infrastructure. The Times brought in an engineer with that kind of expertise precisely because it needed someone to build the same kind of technology as the biggest tech companies.
In fact, Sobel said he found the technical side of things not that different from his previous experience, except that everything he does is in service of the editorial business.
“So it’s funny – it’s actually not that different. I mean, the newsroom makes a difference in some ways. There’s obviously the strong editorial voice that will always be important in the types of content that we write and how we deliver it,” Sobel told TechCrunch.
But when it comes to building a tech organization, Sobel said what the Official Journal is building actually looks pretty familiar. “We have a cross-functional team of designers, engineers, and product managers who all work together to ship websites, apps, and back-end technology. So I was surprised how similar it is,” he said.