The Times podcast: Masters of Disasters: Broken records!
In this week’s podcast, we cover both the biggest news of the week (The Times’ decision to end its print edition) and some really surprising (at least to us) news stories from around the country. For that, we’re joined by reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey, who was in the audience at the Times in recent weeks. (For the record, this is the second time Pulliam Bailey has covered for us at The Times. As you may recall, she was our first Pulitzer winner, in 2008.)
This episode is sponsored by The Times.
When we recorded this episode, the print edition of The Times was still in its final hours of publication. So, how, exactly, did we end up with just the last issue of the print edition today? The answer is complicated. We’ve been covering the end of the print edition, and I’ve been giving you some more history to go along with it, on my NYT podcast, The Good, the Bad, and the Times.
But we’re about to get some real history on the print run as well, and I wanted to talk about that as well. Here’s a bit of it.
How The Times got to where we are
The Times started in 1851, when it was, as they say, a newspaper for New Yorkers. That was its very first year as a publication, and it began with just one employee. The man who was in charge of the Times’ first years was an ambitious young lawyer named George L. R. Hays.
Hays saw in the Times a way to break into the city, and he decided to take his chances. But he didn’t really start off with a plan. He asked a friend, a banker named Rufus Choate, to loan him $150 for the business expenses. He took out a $3,000 loan, and then asked other friends to contribute.
Eventually, he had raised $800, and the rest he borrowed from banks and private investors.
You might think, then, that Hays had to build a whole newspaper, but that isn’t necessarily true. The Times didn’t exist yet, and the founders wanted to make their paper as different from the other papers as they could. So they decided to be different from the other papers in the city, too. In order to be