World: Medium of the Week - New York Times' European invasion is underway

Can the paper's aggressive pan-European drive really work?

The New York Times is now available in a newsagent near you. Part of an aggressive overseas brand expansion by the New York Times Co, The Daily Telegraph now carries an eight-page section every Thursday, called The New York Times International Weekly.

The move is part of a Europe-wide initiative co-ordinated with The New York Times-owned International Herald Tribune. A new ad package, EuroReach, aims to sell the IHT along with slots in five European newspapers. Le Monde is also on board, although the intended partners in Italy (La Repubblica), Germany (Suddeutsche Zeitung) and Spain (El Pais) have yet to print. If it goes to plan, an extra 400,000 readers will be reached in each of the five markets.

But will readers want more news with a US spin? According to Christian Edwards, the president of The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation, there's no doubt: "There is notable interest in the US perspective on current events and in quality journalism in general." In fact, despite one closing after a test period, there are 13 weekly supplements across the world.

The newspaper partners are carefully chosen. Chris White-Smith, the group sales director at the Telegraph, says that the paper's management are "delighted" that they were picked. For the Telegraph it's a painless first deal with a US newspaper, since the editorial is all provided from the US and the IHT is handling sales. Meanwhile, Edwards is happy to reach the Telegraph's "globally aware, culturally active, business-involved readers of the UK".

White-Smith says: "We're pretty confident that it will add value." The clash of the liberal New York Times point-of-view and Telegraph conservatism doesn't seem to worry either party unduly.

Although there are plenty of international media to compete with EuroReach, media agencies are positive about the development. At Mediaedge:cia, Annie Allen is the account director on Richemont, which includes Cartier among its brands - one of the first advertisers buying into the EuroReach package.

"If clients have a small budget focused on pan-regional, this acts as a local support," she says. Equally, it can give greater reach for a multi-local campaign.

But is it a good deal? "At the moment it's good value," Allen says. But she still wants to be entirely convinced that the Le Monde section, which is published in English, makes sense in a language other than French.

And she is well aware that EuroReach is not yet the deal it promises, with three countries out of the five not yet on board.

"It has to come to the market tighter than it is already," she says.

Launch date: Telegraph section - 25 March 2004

Typical advertisers: Cartier, HP, L'Oreal

Projected circulation: Two million in Europe (400,000 in each market)

Rival publications: Pan-European business and news publication,

including Newsweek, The Economist, Forbes, Fortune

Typical reader: Newspaper reader with interest in international affairs

Ownership: New York Times Co

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