Please Allow Our AI to Introduce Itself
This week’s big odds moves in our NYT Succession Betting Pool were at the bottom of the table.
Our quants have finally gotten a handle on their odds algorithm, so the barrage of bets which continued to flow into Off the Record’s New York Times Succession Betting Pool left them pretty unfazed. While everybody else in Off the Record’s palatial HQ was rather harried, they had a little time to kick back and relax. Idly passing the time, they found themselves chatting with the AI they built and noticed something familiar about its personality. They couldn’t quite put their finger on it until late on Wednesday night, while discussing with the bot how the place of journalism has changed in the digital landscape, it clicked. Uploaded terabytes of data about the people and history of The Times and forced to endlessly simulate the selection of the next executive editor, their artificial neural network had adopted the mannerisms and outlook of publisher A.G. Sulzberger! With a firm gaze through its glasses, our A.G. AI 3000 announced that it would grace us with a fresh set of odds and was kind enough to allow us to share them with you.
Deputy managing editor Cliff Levy (+750) had a good week with some large bets coming in for him, but it wasn’t enough to convince A.G. AI 3000 that he’d pulled ahead of the other not-Joe Kahn (+200) contenders, deputy managing editor Carolyn Ryan (+750) and assistant managing editor Marc Lacey (+750).
Former Times associate managing editor and current managing director of Gimlet Media at Spotify Lydia Polgreen (+3000) also continued to attract heavy betting action and solidified her standing as an Off the Record Betting Pool fan favorite. The big odds movers this week were at the bottom of the table. Two extreme longshots have been steadily attracting outsize bets given their odds, and A.G. AI 3000 took notice. Our bettors seem to have their eyes on Sewell Chan (+12500 ▲2500), who left for the Los Angeles Times in 2018 and stepped in as editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune this month, and Ben Smith (+20000 ▲5000), the former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News who signed on as the media columnist last year. Both are pretty far-fetched candidates for executive editor to us, but A.G. AI 3000 determined that, at least as a measure of enthusiasm for candidates in the lowest tiers, the bets don’t lie, and so Chan’s and Smith’s odds have been shortened.
While all individual bets are confidential, here’s where the OTR$ bucks wagered so far have gone.
The pool is open to all subscribers — if you haven’t placed your bets, click here! — and here’s a recap of the rules: Every subscriber has been given OTR$ 1,000 to wager as you see fit. You can place your bets any time before The Times announces the next executive editor, and all bets will be placed confidentially. Whoever finishes with the most OTR$ bucks wins: three annual subscriptions to gift to your valued colleagues or loved ones, eternal bragging rights, probably some Off the Record swag, and maybe a trophy. Happy betting!