Yesterday the Times announced it would close its blog, The Lede. Then later in an interview with Poynter, Assistant Managing Editor Ian Fisher said that while “[t]here’s little chance that our marquee blogs, ones like DealBook, Well, Bits, will be going anywhere anytime soon," almost half of the site's blogs will be discontinued or be merged elsewhere in the near future.
Poytner notes that there are several reasons for the restructure, including technical complications with the blogging software and the redesigned article pages, but the main reason will resonate with anyone who's ever been charged with maintaining a blog that people actually read:
Some [NYT] blogs are quite popular, but others “got very, very little traffic, and they required an enormous amount of resources, because a blog is an animal that is always famished.” [Fisher said. H]e thinks the “quality of our items will go up now, now that readers don’t expect us to be filling the artificial container of a blog.”
With more resources going into fewer platforms on the site, this could be a play toward NYT Now and other recently released digital subscription options, which should prove attractive to those unwilling to pay $35 a month for the digital all-access subscription.
NYT Now, for example, pushes a daily supply of core articles to a user's mobile app, including morning and evening news briefs, and provides access to much of the homepage content, all updated throughout the day—basically the meat-and-potatoes edition of the site. It's possible that by eliminating many of the site's less-popular assets and focusing on the winners, the reorganization will position more high-quality content in front of those subscribers.