FOR a decade the International Herald Tribune has been the global edition of The New York Times in all but name. Now the parent company has made it official.
In a statement on Monday, the New York Times Company said the 125-year-old offshoot of the defunct New York Herald Tribune would be rechristened in the northern autumn as the International New York Times.
"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," said New York Times Co chief executive Mark Thompson.
"We want to exploit that opportunity," said the former BBC boss, adding that a new website for international readers was in the pipeline.
The International Herald Tribune was co-owned by The New York Times and The Washington Post from 1967 until 2003, when the Times became its sole proprietor, and restyled it as "the global edition of The New York Times".
It almost exclusively showcased New York Times content in a bid to appeal to high-earning anglophone globetrotters in competition with global editions of The Wall Street Journal and Britain's Financial Times.
Sold in more than 160 countries and territories, it has a daily circulation of more than 226,000, an IHT spokeswoman said.
Before 1967, the IHT was known as the Paris edition of The New York Herald Tribune - immortalised in Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave classic Breathless with Jean Seberg in a tight yellow T-shirt hawking copies on the Champs-Elysees.
The New York Times published an international edition under its own name from 1946 until it bought into "the Trib" and helped oversee its development as a global media brand through the use of satellite printing plants.
News of the rebranding came less than three weeks after the New York Times Co posted a 2012 group profit of $US133 million, compared with a loss of $US39.7 million in 2011.
It gave no breakdown of profit or loss figures, but earlier this month it said it was putting The Boston Globe and other New England assets up for sale to focus on its core product.
"The New York Times is a very strong brand in the United States [and] there are enough people globally who still read it," said Joscelyn MacKay, senior securities analyst at Morningstar in Chicago.
"The content itself will have to become a bit more global ... but I think it is a definite feasible target for them," she said.
The International New York Times "will be edited from Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York", according to the statement, and new investments will be made "in print, web and mobile platforms".
IHT spokeswoman Vicky Taylor said there are "currently no plans to cut staff numbers or offer buyouts".
"In many ways it will be business as usual at the IHT because as an organisation we've already taken significant steps to align with The New York Times to the benefit of readers and advertisers," she said.
"Making the full transition to a multiplatform International New York Times is the next logical step."