By: Jamey Keaten, Associated Press Writer
(AP) The New York Times Co. has taken full control of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, ending a 35-year partnership with The Washington Post, the Herald Tribune said Tuesday.
The purchase of the Post‘s 50% stake, which had been expected, took place Monday, said Robert McCartney, the Herald Tribune‘s managing editor.
“The money has changed hands,” McCartney told The Associated Press by telephone. He said the transfer of management control is to take effect Wednesday.
The deal was first announced in October. The Times said the purchase was valued at less than $75 million.
The end of the alliance at the Paris daily was acrimonious. The Post, in a memo at the time of the announcement, suggested it had been strong-armed into selling after the Times had threatened to start a competitor to the Herald Tribune.
Before the deal, the Times and Post each held half of the Herald Tribune, a 115-year-old daily with more than 20 printing sites and a circulation of about 260,000 in places as divergent as Japan, Lebanon, and Spain.
Former Times Assistant National Editor Walter Wells, who spent 21 years at the Herald Tribune, is to come out of retirement to take charge of the newspaper.
Wells replaces Executive Editor David Ignatius, who returns to the Post as a columnist. A Times spokeswoman has said the Wells appointment was not permanent, but more specifics were not available.
McCartney, currently on loan to the Herald Tribune from the Post, will return to the Washington paper to become its European economics correspondent.
The Herald Tribune will continue to have access to Post content for three more months, Wells said. He also said the Times is making “enormous additional resources” available to the Paris paper.
“I hope some of those resources will include editing strength in Paris,” Wells told the AP.
A Times spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the transfer.