The International Herald Tribune to be rebranded the International New York Times

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The International Herald Tribune, one of the most enduring brands in journalism history, is getting a new name: The International New York Times.

The rebranding of the 125-year-old paper announced Monday comes as The New York Times Co. looks to focus on its flagship brand and expand its presence overseas. The name change will become official later this year.

The newspaper plans to add an unspecified number of columnists and reporters. CEO Mark Thompson said in a statement that a company review led it to believe it had the potential to increase subscribers outside of the U.S.

“The digital revolution has turned The New York Times from being a great American newspaper to becoming one of the world’s best-known news providers,” he said.

The IHT was founded as the Paris Herald, the European edition of the New York Herald, in October 1887. In 1928, it became the first newspaper distributed by airplane, with morning copies sent to London. Following a merger with the New York Tribune, the European edition was bought by the Washington Post and The New York Times and became the International Herald Tribune in 1967.

In 2003, the Times purchased The Washington Post Co.’s 50 per cent stake in the Paris-based newspaper. The move made the Times the IHT’s full owner. The Times and the Herald Tribune already run a unified website, with visitors to automatically sent to an international home page for the Times.

Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, the publisher of the IHT, said the rebranding is a “natural evolution after several years of aligning the two brands.”

The New York Times Media Group, which comprises the New York Times and the IHT, garnered $468 million in revenue in the final three months of 2012, up 6 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

The IHT has some 200 to 300 staffers, although some also serve the Times, said Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. The IHT has its own bureaus in Bangkok, Brussels, Frankfurt and Seoul. It shares international bureaus in London, Paris and Hong Kong with the Times. Murphy said the company will invest in its digital, newsgathering and marketing personnel to expand its international presence.

Last week, the Times Co. said it is putting The Boston Globe and its related assets up for sale to concentrate on The New York Times brand.

In September, the company sold its website and related businesses for $300 million to Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. In January 2012, the Times sold its regional media group to Halifax Media Holdings for $143 million.