On March 3, 2016, the Feldberg Community was privileged to engage with William Bardeen (CBS ‘04), SVP of Strategy and Development at the New York Times. Scott Asher (Feldberg ‘09), hosted the event over a casual dinner at his office near Columbus Circle.
Mr. Bardeen, who oversees a team of 20 people handling all M&A, Strategy, and Corporate Development for the Times, was very interested in the Feldbergs' backgrounds and what united such a diverse and dynamic group. After the participants introduced themselves, Bardeen gave context around the changes in the news delivery industry and how The New York Times has become progressively leaner to focus on its core competency providing premium news content.
The majority of the dinner was spent discussing topical questions and digging deeper into Bardeen's perspective about the past, present, and future of the news industry. Bardeen gave frank and candid answers on how The New York Times thought about many of the challenges it faces daily -- how to engage millennials, how to evolve its revenue model while maintaining high engagement and broad readership, how to deal with pervasive and vicissitudinal competition. He also elaborated on his personal journey through some of the most turbulent periods of the company's storied history, including its near collapse during the financial crisis.
Meeting with Bardeen gave the Feldbergs an inside look into how difficult working in the media industry can be with the advent of the internet and the "all information should be free" model that many of its denizens operate using. Many of the Feldbergs commented afterwards that Bardeen's unique experience in play a key role shepherding the Times through this period as its leader of strategy gave him a truly unique and enlightening perspective. His belief in the importance of the Times and its journalistic mission spoke to everyone in the room.
Victor Eng (Feldberg '17)