Case Interview Questions #00058: You are the new retail advertising manager of New York Times, a large daily newspaper. Although it remains both the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States as well as being third largest overall, behind the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, the weekday circulation of New York Times has fallen precipitously in recent years to fewer than one million copies daily for the first time since the 1980s.
This morning you received a call from the advertising director Mr. Bill Keller (your boss!). He sounded extremely worried about the retail advertising division’s performance. (Naturally he doesn’t explain why, assuming that a hot‑shot like you would by now be totally familiar with the status quo!). He has to attend a meeting of senior executive convened by the publisher where he will have to defend the advertising department’s performance. He also wants to make a big splash by presenting a new “strategic pricing methodology” aimed at achieving “value‑based differentiated pricing”. What should you do right now?
Find out corporate profitability objectives first. Assess gap between annual departmental performance and original targets.