Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The New York Times challenge

In the last issue of the New Yorker, Ken Auletta,their Media correspondant looks at the New York Times and its new executive editor, a woman, Jill Abramson. For the "gray lady", probably the best newspaper in the world, and its new boss, the challenge is dramatic. The Internet revolution has totally disrupted the working of the dailies. They have lost part of their advertising income and they deal with news which have already reached their readers through the Web.

Auletta reminds us that the Times company has lost money in two of the past five years. During the second quarter of 2011, digital news revenue rose by 15%, thanks to the success of the new digital subscription offer. Now 280000 people subscribe to the digital edition. And yet, print advertising drops more quickly than digital advertising rises and the company lost 120 million dollars during the same second quarter.

Clearly, the roadmap of Jill Abramson is to transform the newspaper into a multimedia operation, where journalists must file both the daily print edition and, several times a day,the online edition. It is an uneasy challenge as the quality of the newspaper must not suffer and the financial question is not solved by far.

Anyway, all the executives of the world newspaper industry must hope that the NYT succeeds.