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Mathis exits Times Co.

Catherine Mathis, the Times Co.'s senior VP for corporate communications, is leaving her post for a similar job at Standard & Poors.

It'll be interesting to see if--in the wake of Mathis's departure--the Times Co.'s perplexing communications M.O. changes at all. I dealt with Mathis a fair number of times over the past few months, and found her to be refreshingly responsive, despite the fact that I frequently hammered her employer's conduct vis a vis Boston and the Globe.

My hunch is that Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Janet Robinson were the authors of the Times Co.'s self-destructive reticence, and that Mathis simply had the unenviable job of relaying that reticence to the press. The performance of Mathis's successor, Ethan Riegelhaupt, might shed some light on this subject. Then again, since Reigelhaupt isn't a permanent replacement, it might not.

Robinson's memo follows; also be sure to take a look at Eric Starkman's friendly PR advice for Mathis's successor and the Times Co. as a whole.

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Dear Colleagues,

With truly mixed emotions, I am writing to inform you that Catherine Mathis, senior vice president, corporate communications, has decided to ake a new position as the senior vice president and head of Marketing & Communications for Standards & Poor’s, a McGraw-Hill Company, and will be eaving at the end of August.

Catherine has been with the Company for twelve years and has served as the chief communications strategist and spokesperson through some of the most challenging chapters in our history.  She has been a source of strength to me, our leadership team and her colleagues throughout the organization. She was always on duty, actively involved in managing the reputation of The Times brand, a major accomplishment, given the massive amount of coverage The Times Company generates on a daily basis.

For all that and much more, everyone at The New York Times Company is grateful to Catherine for her innumerable contributions and wishes her the best of luck.

Ethan Riegelhaupt, the Company’s vice president for speechwriting and internal communications, will be taking over our corporate communications department on an interim basis, pending future personnel and administrative decisions.

Sincerely,

Janet 

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