The New York Times publisher’s many achievements have been well lauded, so here’s a look at his beginnings, courtesy of Gay Talese (The Kingdom and the Power, 1969):

The new publisher was a friendly, unostentatious young man who had curly, dark hair, smoked a pipe, wore Paul Stuart suits, and always said hello to whoever was in the elevator. If he bore any physical resemblance to his distinguished-looking father, it was not obvious to those in the newsroom: He seemed more an Ochs than a Sulzberger. He had his mother’s dark, penetrating eyes, and he had Adolph Ochs’s large-lobed ears that turned up at the bottom. He was of average height, square-shouldered and solidly built, yet lean enough to fit into the Marine Corps uniform that he had worn more than a decade ago, and his hair was sufficiently close-cropped to pass almost any military inspection. There was no regimental quality about him, however, not even a trace of rigidity, and in this sense he was unlike the publishers who had preceded him. Adolph Ochs had been a model of formality, a starched figure most comfortable at a distance, a self-made man of Victorian presence who rarely lowered his guard in public. While Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Orvil Dryfoos were more mellow and genteel, they were nearly always pressured by the tight strings of the title that they had acquired through marriage. Punch Sulzberger was different—he had been born to the title, he had grown up within The Times, had skipped through its corridors as a child. He was never awed by the great editors that he met there, for they had always smiled at him, seemed happy to see him, treated him like a little prince in a palace, and he developed early in life a sunny, amiable disposition.

Corrections

In our chart “What’s the best model for digital news business?” (September/October), in which we compare the fates of three news startups (the Chicago News Cooperative, the Bay Citizen, and the Texas Tribune), we mistakenly attributed a quote dismissing the Texas Tribune as “inside baseball” to Texas Monthly. In fact, the quote came from the Texas Observer. Texas Monthly actually has a partnership with the Texas Tribune.

There were two errors in our profile of Bruce Brugmann (“Alternative ending,” September/October): SF Weekly was purchased by New Times Media in 1995, not 1999; and the 2005 merger of New Times Media and Village Voice Media did involve 17 free alt-weeklies, just not the largest ones.

In the same issue, a credit in The Lower Case should have been the Bellingham Herald, not the Bellingham Post. And we misspelled Ben Ilfeld’s name in “By the People,” a story about Ilfeld’s Sacramento Press.

Our sincere apologies to all. 

 

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