A memorandum sent to the newsroom by Jonathan Landman, newly appointed deputy managing editor of digital journalism, described Mr Meislin as the obvious choice because he had been instrumental in introducing the internet to the newsroom.
"Richard will be intimately involved in inventing and cultivating new journalistic forms while at the same time guiding our web presence according to journalistic values that are not new at all," wrote Mr Landman in the staff announcement.
"The title reflects both the unique skills and experience Richard brings to the job and the importance it has for every corner of the operation."
Mr Meislin joined the Times in 1975 and before his previous post as technology news editor and head of news surveys, worked as reporter, senior IT editor, graphics editor and editor-in-chief for NYTimes.com.
Last week the Times announced plans to integrate its print and online newsrooms with the aim of further developing its digital journalism and meeting readers' demands for multi-platform content.
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