Thursday, February 08, 2007

NYT down the drain?

This couldn't happen to a nicer MSM mogul. From Haaretz:
Despite his personal fortune and impressive lineage, Arthur Sulzberger, owner, chairman and publisher of the most respected newspaper in the world, is a stressed man.

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.

As if that weren't enough, his personal bank, Morgan Stanley, recently set out on a campaign that could cost the man control over the paper.

All this may explain why Sulzberger does not talk with the press. (Or it could be that he knows whatever he says, even in confidentiality, will wind up on the front page of his blabbermouth fishwrap? Oh, the irony! - Ed.)

Here's a quote that made me giddier than Barney Frank at a Chippendale's show (albeit clearly for different reasons, but I digress):
"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.
I hope to God (insert deity du jour here) that the NYT has been shut down by then, either by market forces or by the DOJ that will have grown a pair and prosecuted the paper for violation of federal classified document and national security laws. But hey, Sulzberger is only the paper's editor, so why should he care?

WARNING: Beverage spewage alert! Put down your drink now so your monitor doesn't get misted/soaked by it. You have been warned in 3...2...1...OK, it's on:
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.
I agree with Sulzie here, on this point: People DO want reliable news they can trust. That would explain why the NYT circulation is dropping faster than Bill Clinton's pants. After all, the NYT is about as reliable as a field sobriety test on Ted Kennedy that shows a BAC of 0.1%!

Sulzie fiddles while the Old Gray Hag burns.