On Monday, Times Company spokeswoman Catherine Mathis announced that she’d be leaving the company to work at Standard and Poors, the financial analyst. Ms. Mathis was a Company Woman: She protected her bosses, Arthur Sulzberger and Janet Robinson, with all her might and wasn’t the glad-handling PR gossip who hit the circuit to butter up media reporters. In other words, if she wasn’t entirely forthcoming, she was loyal. Half her tenure was during unquestionably good times for the paper (1997-2002), and the other half was, in the words of Ms. Robinson, “some of the most challenging chapters in our history” (2003-2009).
We’ve decided to take a look at the past 12 years of The Times, through the voice of Catherine Mathis.
On Joining the New York Stock Exchange (1997, from Investor Business Relations): “Over the last two years our daily trading volume has doubled and we thought now would be a good time to move.”
On Building a New Tower (2000, from The Times): “We’re in discussions with the city and state. But there are many things that have not been finalized.”
On the Internet (2001, Reuters): “The growth in Internet advertising spending … is not happening as quickly as we like.”
On Jayson Blair (2003, The Observer): “We’re not going to do any interviews regarding the Jayson Blair interview.” Also: “Howell and Gerald made the decision to resign yesterday. They thought it was in the best interest of the Times, and Arthur agreed.”
On Judith Miller (2005, the Daily News): “Judy’s taking some time off.”
On TimesSelect (2007, the Post): “While TimesSelect is very popular and we have certainly met and exceeded our goals since it began in 2005, we continue to evaluate the best approach to our business.”
On Morgan Stanley’s Shareholder Revolt (2007, The Observer): “Shareholders are concerned about the future.”
On Shutting Down The Boston Globe (2009, The Times): “We believe negotiations should be private.”
On The Times’ Current PR problem (2009, The Observer): “Certainly the business and the industry is in a different place from where it was five years ago.”