Wow – even with out the Silicon Valley Insider’s snark, this is a wild and wooly bit to go out to the troops from the NYT Editor, Bill Keller. The cattle must have been close to stampede…
Check out the Insiders conclusion:
But we have a problem with Bill’s characterization of the cuts around the industry as “short-sighted.” Bill’s business reporters would never characterize them that way, and if he wants to maintain his credibility, he shouldn’t, either.
The newspaper industry is cutting costs because it is in a permanent decline. So far, the online business model cannot support anything like the staff that classifieds and other print ads used to allow. This is a business reality, one that the New York Times has stubbornly refused to accept. The sooner it does so, the better.
Darn straight – the newspaper industry is in an utterly transitive moment, and the Times is no exception. They know they’ve got to move to a place where they’re content providers, not content distributors, and that’s gonna be a painful process.
The problem with this transition is clear: they’re set up to deliver print. Print is utterly expensive to produce and distribute. Now all that expense is hanging about their necks like an albatross.
Even a year ago, while we may have discussed the decline of newspapers, who would have thought a discussion such as this was even possible at the Grey Lady.