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Under pressure NY Times names dotcom chief as board candidate

NEW YORK - The New York Times has responded to calls to focus more on digital by naming Dawn Lepore, CEO of online pharmacy Drugstore.com, as one of its board nominees.

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Lepore, who is also a board member of eBay, has been named as a board nominee alongside lawyer Robert Denham, from Munger, Tolles & Olson, which advises Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

The company has announced the names after the investor group Firebrand Partners and hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners doubled their stake in the media group to 10% earlier this week and said they were pushing for four board seats.

Scott Galloway, the Firebrand Partners founder, has called on the New York Times to invest more heavily in its digital operations.

Lepore's appointment gives the company more digital expertise on its board and will likely reassure other investors that the paper is taking investor concerns seriously.

"We view the digital realm as vitally key to our future," New York Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said.

The two nominees will replace current directors Brenda Barnes, chairman of Sara Lee Corp, and James Kilts, the former CEO of Gillette, who will not stand for re-election.

A spokesman for the investor group led by Harbinger and Firebrand, said: "We are encouraged that the chairman and nominating committee have acknowledged the need to bring directors with additional skills to the board.

"Shareholders are now faced with a clear decision to support directors hand-picked by the board or truly independent directors put forward by a large shareholder already catalyzing change at the New York Times."

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