New York Times
3.3 of 5 118 reviews
www.nytco.com New York, NY 5000+ Employees

New York Times Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated Apr 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 81 reviews

                             

82% Approve of the CEO

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Mark Thompson

(11 ratings)

68% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Terrible Environment for Product Managers

Product (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at New York Times full-time

ProsSome of the worlds best journalism and a well respected brand. The newsroom truly upholds it values to producing all the news that's fit to print.

New building with a large cafeteria and a wide variety of food.

ConsThe Times is struggling financially and lacks the budgets and people that you would expect from a big brand. If you're coming from a large company you will be seriously disappointed.

The product management group lacks strong leadership, respect by other groups and adequate resources. The senior product leadership are mostly ex-attorneys that couldn't hack the legal profession and have little experience in product development and management. This leads to endless meetings and data analysis to make mundane decisions. The product management culture is extremely risk averse, bureaucratic, slow and political which stalls projects and creates a passive aggressive rift between senior management and product managers. Sadly, it's all about appearances, managing up and how many people you have working for you.

In my last year over 50% of the the product group left the company. Most product managers I worked with grew tired of the nepotism, lack of career development opportunities, disengaged senior management and the constant and often heated battles with the technology group.

Beware! The technology group runs the show at the Times and often enforces their will on the product managers without any concern for the business consequences. It's not uncommon for technology to undermine product to take control of a project.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe majority of employees love the Times and were hoping that the new CEO would wipe out the lazy senior management. Look at how much the ED management level and above contribute to the business.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Brand, Horrible Business

Advertising (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at New York Times full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe brand is really good and if you think about leaving it will look very well on your resume. the journalists are amazing and such an inspiration to hear. overall everyone is nice and friendly.

ConsYou can't advance here and the pay is horrible, remember this is publishing. Learn what you need, gain the connections you need, then leave. You can't have a true career. You can have a job, however. The VP of ADV Mereidth has brought in so many ken and barbie dolls from competitors that i can't even take this place seriously. She lays off everyone and brings in her old team from Forbes. So many politics at this place, extreme lack of communication. No one (even leadership) knows whats going on, ever. Poor poor leadership. Everyone seems to be interviewing elsewhere. Come if you need a resume booster because we can't deny, the name is strong and will open many doors. Just know youll have to put in your time and create your exit strategy Day 1. Dont be surprised if you come in and are fired few months down the line. It happens.

Advice to Senior ManagementCommunication. Advancement. Salaries = Happy

Also train the directors/managers on how to be managers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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4 people found this helpful  

Depressing, lifeless work environment

Developer (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at New York Times full-time for more than a year

ProsIt's the New York Times, the paper of record, one of the great icons of New York and United States culture and history and still producing amazing journalism.

A pretty homogeneously politically liberal workplace, which is is not as easy to find in NYC as one might expect. Extremely PC. You will never hear an inappropriate joke, or any comment disrespectful to religion, race, gender, etc.

Extremely diverse, ethnically.

Pretty good bonus and 401k matching compared with other tech/media companies.

Three weeks vacation + three personal days.

ConsDigital side is a highly individualistic atmosphere. Engineers are expected to make a name for themselves in hackathons, and I didn't observe sincere camaraderie between others or directed at me from any but a very few people during my time there.

There is a culture of overdesign and a love of the status quo, which means you will spend most of your time trying to maintain ridiculously complex systems.

Product decisions seem to be based on intuition rather than a careful analysis of data, which is perplexing due to the immensity of pageview and other usage data from the various platforms that is just lying around unused. The result is 200 engineers working on few know exactly what and having who knows what impact on the success of the business. In general, data analysis and data collection are not understood and not highly prioritized there.

The workspace itself is gray, dark, lifeless and depressing. Insist on a tour of the floor if you get an onsite interview.

There is no process (letter of warning, bad review, etc.) for termination. One day you will simply be informed your employment is over. I observed many totally unexpected terminations of hardworking and talented individuals and no explanation of any substance was ever provided. I've spoken with other former employees and the "ambush firing" is apparently standard practice there. So if you join the Times don't ever assume anything about the security of your job.

Advice to Senior ManagementForce engineering and product managers to make a data-driven case for any major new functionality or products.

Get rid of the innovation challenge or require teams to be much larger. As it is, it breeds internal competitiveness and overly individualized ambition (and rarely leads to a real product anyway). 100% day has similar problems. Require large teams for entry into any of the hackathon-ish activities there. (Also, stop trying so hard to be google without even knowing why you're doing so).

Encourage simpler architectures and maintainability in software design. DISCOURAGE OVERDESIGN and really, really audit for it. (Ask yourselves why NYT5 took so long.)

Discourage reinventing the wheel when there is a much better wheel than one you could ever hope to develop internally already available in open source form (or in a form costing far less than the equivalent developer time). And audit for it.

Hire a CTO who understands the tech industry has become the data industry, and that how the nytimes uses data and plans its data strategies is astronomically more important than which javascript framework is chosen.

Have a peek at the number of barely-used aws instances generating multi-thousand-dollar bills every month. AWS (as used by nyt) is not only a ridiculously cash-wasteful hosting model, but incurs a huge developer overhead when the unwieldiness of nimbul, the role system, and the convoluted hostnaming schemes are factored in. It's a horrible system and, at the very least, someone needs to conduct a thorough analysis of its costs and impacts on productivity.

Put some ephing supplies (and kleenex!) in the supply cabinets! Every previous and subsequent company I've worked for has provided snacks, drinks, and a bounty of other supplies and amenities. The times offices are totally barren.

Fix the elevator algorithm.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It was very good.

Senior Developer (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at New York Times full-time for more than 3 years

ProsRelax Atmosphere, nice people, great office.

ConsLess opportunities for growth, less challenging

Advice to Senior ManagementCare for your resources.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Talented, nice people trapped in stagnation and strict hierarchy

Web Developer (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at New York Times full-time for more than 3 years

ProsPeople are nice and smart, building is beautiful, and, hey, it's the New York Times! Most employees are capable of great work. The paper really is making great strides into the digital age.

ConsIt's a very strange mix. Most managers want to improve products and change the procedures that prevent problems from being fixed and useful work from being done efficiently - but somehow they can't. Managers spend their time talking with other managers and are only vaguely aware of what their employees are doing. The Agile process is used not to empower developers, but to control their actions minutely. Vastly inefficient procedures take up people's time, and programmers are highly respected as a group but end up individually as powerless serfs. Frustration is common, and secrecy and control rule.

Advice to Senior ManagementSpend a few minutes asking your employees what's working for them and what isn't, and spend less time discussing abstractions with other management. You know very little about the work that's being done and why it's being done so slowly. Trust the smart people you've hired and set them free!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A Mess

Web Developer (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at New York Times full-time for more than a year

ProsThe Brand. Smart people do actually come to work there to pay their dues and move on. They have the best journalists and written articles without a doubt.

ConsWhew! Where do I begin....

- Everything is political. It's all about if you are in the "IN" group.

- People who failed spectacularly get promoted. It's the one place where you can fail up pretty consistently.

- They still run on old dated technologies like SVN , Prototype etc... and do boring things and use boring tech...with the noteable exception of the newsroom who can build code that works for a day and then you have to fix whatever they broke in the process after that day.

- They use a ton of good people to build terrible products.

- Be careful if you build and design a pay model that is highly successful... The paper pushers in upper management will get nervous about their jobs and pigeon hole you so you can't take their job away from them because they don't actually do anything.

- Make sure you aren't too successful. That's grounds for getting fired at NYT or at the very least for a glass ceiling being put over your head.

- They have about 25 layers of middle management too many and the CIO and CTO aren't even credible or knowledgeable in the world of tech.

- I don't have a positive view of management.

- The pay is minuscule compared to what the market is yielding. The NYT calls it "Leveraging the Brand". I call it insulting.

Advice to Senior ManagementLoose some management.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Place If You're in with the "Right" People

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at New York Times full-time for more than a year

ProsAmazing office and cafeteria.

Extremely talented developers.

The opportunity to work with some of most talented journalists in the world.

Flexible on time off and decent health benefits.

Looks great on your resume.

ConsStagnant leadership: The senior management team are "institutionalized" lifers that lack hands on digital business experience outside of the Times.

nepotism: promotions, resources and high visibility projects are often given to friends of senior management without regard for skills or experience.

class divide: the place is controlled by a clique of 1 percenter Ivy League MBA's that have little regard for the ideas and opinions of anyone outside their group.

lack of diversity: for all of the ethnic diversity in NYC , only a small percentage of the overall management ranks are ethnic minorities.

constant turnover: talented and dedicated employees are constantly leaving because of the insular management and lack of advancement opportunities.

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on career development and promote employees based on skills and not their academic credentials or socioeconomic class.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great location, terrible environment for IT worker

Senior Unix Systems Engineer (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at New York Times full-time for more than a year

ProsCommute to Times Square is easy.

Some genuinely smart people work here.

It's a brand people actually recognize.

Company work hours are pretty flexible.

ConsOh boy:

Complete lack of direction from upper and middle management. Teams even under the same director actively do not speak to one another, causing a litany of fiefdoms, duplication of effort, and other forms of waste and intrigue.

Nepotism is extremely strong here. Managers seem to heavily favor people with whom they have worked before. You can see waves of people flocking in from <insert company here> at a given time because they have hired someone in management from <insert company here>. No actual vetting of these people can occur and it's outright heresy to question.

The company has a schizophrenic culture based on young people fresh into the field wanting to only do new things to older people stuck in the past wanting to only do things their way. There is often little to no middle ground or attempts to create standards, with phrases such as "it stifles innovation" strewn about.

Retention rates are abysmal. In less than two years I have become a long-timer. That not only leads to a constant brain drain, but it has created so many promotions of the "last man standing" as to exacerbate the poor quality of the middle management. Promotions are also so irregularly given with some groups heavily favored by management over others without merit or reason that it hastens the departure of the actually talented.

Advice to Senior ManagementUh, speak to each other once in a while and try to actually create some standards within the organization, or you'll continue to sink a ship already in a dying industry.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Bored to tears

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at New York Times full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGreat Diversity - there are many groups/networks at the NYTimes which you can become a part of to meet people outside of your department - Women's Network, Book Club, Toastmasters, etc

Great location - located near Times Square, so easily accessible by multiple trains, but not directly in the hustle and bustle of the center of Times Square.

ConsLack of mobility and career development.
I have seen many people get stuck working on the same thing for several years with little to no recognition, only to leave the company very bitter and disappointed.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement does not care about its employees so I have no advice for them.

My advice to potential employees would be to start planning your exit strategy as soon as you arrive. The NYTimes will look great on your resume. If you plan to leave within a 2-yr period, you will gain some contacts and some prestige. Do not expect to work on anything super interesting. Instead use the time to bolster your resume and use your spare time (which you will most likely have because the work is not evenly distributed) to learn new technologies which will be of use in your next position.

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Management was very power-hungry

Digital Advertising Coordinator (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at New York Times

ProsI was part of a strong creative group.

ConsVery weak management, position was part of a union

Advice to Senior ManagementDigital Advertising leadership is quite weak and hierarchical

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at New York Times reviews and ratings in New York City, NY — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for New York Times CEO Mark Thompson. All 14 reviews posted anonymously by New York Times employees.