New York Times Will Go Out of Print…Eventually

Dang.  From Mashable

At a recent conference, The New York Times‘ publisher and chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., stated that he eventually expects the “Gray Lady” will no longer be a physical newspaper.

“We will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD,” he said to attendees of the International Newsroom Summit.

I mean, this certainly shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone that’s got an ear to the rails of print ad-revenue, but to hear it stated so flatly and definitively by the biggest name in the business is still sorta shocking.  (Even to the guy who’s continuously trying to grow his ONLINE ad revenue.)

13 thoughts on “New York Times Will Go Out of Print…Eventually”

  1. Am I the last person on earth that likes to hold an actual hardcopy newspaper? This is true whether that hardcopy be the NYT, AJC, Sunday Paper, Creative Loafing, Intown, DHS Carpe Diem, Decatur Focus, Decatur/Dekalb freebie, Community Watchamacallit, whatever. How does everyone else read the NYT or AJC at the pool? Or at the beach? Or in the bathroom? Or in the carpool line? Or on MARTA? Or in line at the grocery store? Or discreetly on your lap during a boring meeting? (NEVER in church or with in-laws or while on phone with mother or during School Board meeting of course!) Or do the crossword puzzle? Or Jumble? Or Sudoku?

    1. Lots of people still like to hold hard-copy newspapers.

      Problem is, that “tactile-like” is being asked to hold up against higher costs and other sudden short-comings of the paper medium.

    2. I also like reading the paper in my hand, but have to admit I don’t like to do that every day any more. The NYT, especially, gets ink on my fingers. I finally got them (NYT) to deliver on Sundays only (for years they forced a Sat-Sun pkg). It takes me several days to get through the whole Sunday edition, anyway. I read it online Mon-Sat and online using my phone browser when I have a few minutes to spare. I also do the crossword online (you can download a free app–sadly, no mobile version available yet for my not-an-iPod phone). If you subscribe to the NYT at home, then you’re entitled to complete online access.
      BTW, you need to know about

    3. I download the NYT crossword. The crossword subscription gives you access to about 20 years worth of puzzles, and since I specialize in Thursday puzzles, with occasional forays into Friday territory, it works great.

  2. Somehow, when I read the paper NYT I always run across interesting articles that I am glad I read, and I rarely have this experience reading the online version. Then again, I cannot afford to buy any newspaper daily anymore. The NYT is the sole indulgence I make. Certainly not the AJC.

  3. “We will stop reading the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD,” he said to attendees of the International Newsroom Summit.

    Here, fixed it for you.

  4. I’m excited to see what fills the void once print media goes away. Staring at a screen still has that negative ‘separation from real life’ connotation to it. You hear “get off that computer” much more than “put that magazine down”. Tablet devices seem to be the next step but I bet something more suitable for daily life is around the corner.

    1. The screen is too small for me! I know I can zoom in but then only part of the width of a line is in view. My human-powered hands and eyes can zoom a printed page in and out or scroll it back and forth faster and more accurately.

      I’m fine with small screens for work or superficial reading but I don’t think they will ever bring me the pleasure of the printed page. I feel the same way about movies–the pleasure of seeing a movie in a theater is not duplicated for me on a living room TV, on a desktop monitor, on an airplane screen, or on a laptop. Newspapers have always been a pleasure I could count on, anywhere, anytime.
      I’m doomed. I’m already mssing the old, longer, more in-depth versions terribly. If newspapers disappear entirely, I will mourn them forever, like home delivery of milk, diaper services, and the real Mr. Potato Head that used a real potato, not a plastic one.

  5. I can’t quite figure out what makes me uneasy about this. It’s got something to do with the absence of a set reference point. If there’s never a fixed, printed copy, how can I be sure in the future that the article I’m reading is the same one that first appeared? How will libraries hold copies?

    1. Most libraries don’t hold onto physical copies very long, they subscribe to databases for back issue access. Online access gives better search capabilities anyway.

  6. I’m reading the NYT routinely these days precisely because it’s on my iPhone. I would have paid for the app, too, because I enjoy it so much. The articles, categorized, are easier to browse and select, IMO, compared to the cluttered website. Ads are creeping onto that tiny screen, however and I would be willing to pay for a subscription and have the ads go away.

    And if you think you’re missing out on the full article when you read it online, the truth is that the printed version is limited by the physical dimensions of the paper. Online, there are no limits, only your willingness to scroll or click. It’s interesting to devour an engaging story online and then see it in print (days later) only to realize how long the story actually is. I think there is honestly more hope for long-form journalism online. In print, ad sales dictate the number of pages that get printed. If the ads don’t get sold, the pages (and stories) get cut.

    Also, how cool is it to have all of that information in your pocket, at all times, whenever you have a minute and need to feed your brain?

    Not missing printed newspapers at our house. Recycling is a lot less work these days.

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