Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Delusional Sulzberger

One needs a scythe to cut through the overwhelming hubris. Facing a bleak future in the print world, New York Times owner Arthur Sulzberger is under some illusion that the ailing leftwing rag can take over the online world. Good luck with that.

NY Times publisher: Our goal is to manage the transition from print to internet
Why would the man behind the New York Times be stressed? Well, profits from the paper have been declining for four years, and the Times company's market cap has been shrinking, too. Its share lags far behind the benchmark, and just last week, the group Sulzberger leads admitted suffering a $570 million loss because of write offs and losses at the Boston Globe.
Just a hunch, but maybe some reasons are their relentless far-left agenda, shoddy journalism and hostile stance toward national security secrets.
All this may explain why Sulzberger does not talk with the press.
But perhaps the rarified alpine air at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, which ended last week, relaxes the CEOs of the world's leading companies. And what began as a casual chat ended in a fascinating glimpse into Sulzberger's world, and how he sees the future of the news business.

Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years?

"I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," he says.
That's a nice attitude, and for once, I'm in agreement with this twit. I don't care.
In the age of bloggers, what is the future of online newspapers and the profession in general? There are millions of bloggers out there, and if the Times forgets who and what they are, it will lose the war, and rightly so, according to Sulzberger. "We are curators, curators of news. People don't click onto the New York Times to read blogs. They want reliable news that they can trust," he says.
He might be on to something. People do want reliable news. Which is why their readers are deserting in droves.

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