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March 24, 2009

Future Times?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Taking a look at the books, Eric Englund concludes that the real cause of the financial distress at the NYTimes hasn't been bad journalism or falling sales. Instead, it has been gross executive mismanagement.

* Would the NYTimes save money by abandoning paper and sending each of their subscribers a Kindle instead?



posted by Michael at March 24, 2009


Nope, you're wrong. There's no way in hell management EVER makes mistakes. There just has to be a way we can blame this on the unions. After all, if the employees weren't making a living wage, management could possibly explain away as much as half of these losses.

Posted by: Upstate Guy on March 24, 2009 11:00 AM

Posted by Upstate Guy at March 24, 2009

I'm not sure if that was an attempt at sarcasm or if you were serious. In any event, "Management" has been getting plenty of blame (richly deserved too) these days. And the NYT debacle is pretty clearly the fault of their idiotic management. Has anyone suggested otherwise?

Posted by: anonymous on March 24, 2009 11:43 AM

the NYT is one of the very few news organizations that fully understands and uses the Web. The NYT site is one of the best sites on the Web, period. They aren't just leveraging their print copy, their doing fully interactive pieces, database journalism, connecting blogs with current stories, etc. Regardless of what you think of their alleged biases one way or the other, theirs is the model for the future of journalism, IMO.

Now, if they could just stop losing money... :)

Posted by: JV on March 24, 2009 12:06 PM

What Lew Rockwell doesn't disclose is that (1) the Times has $500 million in unfunded pension obligations and (2) the Ochs family controls 89% of the voting stock and 70% of the voting control of the Board of Directors. Thus, they authorize and directly benefit from the dividends and stock buybacks Mr. Rockwell discusses. In effect, they are overseeing the de facto liquidation of the Times for their own benefit, while using bank loans, lines of credit and private equity injections to fund the operating losses.

Posted by: Bill on March 24, 2009 3:06 PM

Agree with JV. NYT on the web is becoming more and more of a must-read. It's probably my one indispensable website, after Google, which sort of doesn't count, if you think about it.

You can pry the paper NYT out of my hands, but you ain't gettin' my web version! If I had to watch the ads/flash movies on every page I read of the online NYT to keep it in business, I'd do so.

Posted by: PatrickH on March 24, 2009 3:20 PM

From what I've read, the family who own the times are wealthy but not the type of who play polo and vacation on yachts wealthy. However, they do enjoy living on the chic parts of Manhattan and good educations and they are a very large clan.

Posted by: chic noir on March 24, 2009 3:38 PM

For God sake, we should not abandon paper. There is nothing like the written word. The Times would do better in making people who read online pay a few dollars per week. Or limit access to some articles for nonsubscribers like the Wall St Journal does.

Posted by: chic noir on March 24, 2009 3:42 PM

You just knew this was coming, didn't you...?

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on March 24, 2009 7:11 PM

Speaking of making choices, some need to be reminded that "No one is smarter than their criteria," - if they have any....


Posted by: Jim Baxter on March 27, 2009 11:46 AM

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