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June 12, 2011 11:09 pm
The 82-year-old former editor of The Sunday Times, founder of Condé Nast Traveler and publisher of Random House, will moderate events with political and economic figures, consult on new business travel and culture features on Reuters.com, and advise editors on stories and newsroom issues.
“Editor-at-large means you’re free to create as much havoc as they will tolerate,” said Sir Harold, saying that he would step back from a similar role at The Week, the news magazine, to focus on live events, debates about the media and highlight photojournalism at Reuters.
Stephen Adler, a former BusinessWeek editor who became editor-in-chief of Reuters in February, said the appointment formed part of the financial news brand’s efforts to build its reputation with consumers, through the website and mobile applications.
“It’s partly about having a broad platform for our work where people can see the best of what we do. It’s also a way of connecting people to our brand. We want people on our paid site in the office but also want them taking us home with them,” he said.
Rising pressure from Bloomberg, its financial data rival, and from print and online competitors has pushed the company to make several high-profile appointments in its search for greater influence.
Mr Adler said Sir Harold’s “extraordinary contacts” would make his live interviews a way of engaging with the group’s clients. “Thomson Reuters has a community of people we write about and people who use our content. Bringing them together is a part of what contemporary news organisations do,” he said.
Mr Adler would not disclose whether such hires had required an increased editorial budget, but said there was “strong commitment” from Thomson Reuters for changes such as his encouragement of long-form investigative reporting.
Sir Harold, whose wife Tina Brown edits Newsweek and The Daily Beast, said the job represented a return to his roots with the Thomson family, which owned The Sunday Times and The Times before selling them to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
His first event this week will feature Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, and Jon Huntsman, the former US envoy to China and possible Republican presidential contender.
“The opportunity to work with Harry Evans, who is one of the greatest journalists of our era or any era, is just one I would never pass up,” Mr Adler said.
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