New York Times Expands Theater Coverage

spider articlelarge New York Times Expands Theater Coverage

(Chad Batka/The New York Times)

The New York Times Company has begun shopping around for tech acquisitions for the first time since 2008, CEO Janet Robinson told Bloomberg News last week. But that doesn’t mean the paper is neglecting the mother ship.

The New York Times is in the midst of adding a slew of interactive bells and whistles, including e-commerce, to its online Theater section.

The home of critics Charles Isherwood and Ben Brantley has revamped its listings and added an interactive show finder that refines listings based on mood and audience (adults-only tragedies, please) called the “Show Tuner.” Get it?

Reviews now have a “Buy Tickets” link powered by Ticketmaster and integrate deals from TicketWatch, the paper’s discount ticket newsletter. The site will also syndicate video content from the Broadway Channel.

“We’ve tried to make the Theater section a more useful and appealing place for readers,” culture editor Jonathan Landman said in a press release. “We’ve learned over the years that people use our reviews, articles and multimedia to guide their ticket-buying choices.”

Such programs raise an ethical issue, however. If The Times takes a little off the top each time a critic “guides [readers’] ticket-buying choices,” can readers trust the paper to honestly assess real theatrical atrocities (yes, Relatively Speaking, we’re looking at you)?

“The business side of The New York Times is entirely separate from the newsroom,” a Times spokesperson told us. “Such arrangements have no influence on what our reviewers or journalists write.”