Climbing the Corporate Ladder Ain’t What it Used to Be at the Times


Photo by Robert Scoble

After a third climber ascended the side of The New York Times building this morning, the Times gave in this afternoon and began removing the ceramic tubes that attention- and danger-seekers have been using as a ladder to scale the structure.

Does it mean the change will be permanent? And just how many of the tubes will be removed? Nobody knows as the Old Grey Lady’s publicist is even playing hardball with the Times‘ own David Dunlap.

“We are not going to discuss the steps we have taken or may take to prevent a recurrence,” Catherine J. Mathis, a spokeswoman for The New York Times Company told the CityRoom blog.

Today’s climber, David Malone, said he learned how to do so from the previous coverage of earlier climbers. Unlike the other two, Malone did not attempt to reach the roof, instead, he unfurled a banner over the “T” in “The” of the Times title. The banner listed his website, which reports on the continuing threat of Al Qaeda, a subject Malone reportedly dropped out of college to study.

The best part of the earlier climber coverage in the CityRoom was the outraged commenter, going by the handle “Walter Winchell,” who said journalism is dead because a Times staffer couldn’t open up a window and get a comment from the climber.

To which, the Times‘ ubiquitous Sewell Chan replied, “The windows do not open.”