Sulzberger Says He Doesn’t Care If ‘NYT’ Eventually Ends Print Publication?

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By: Joe Strupp

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is apparently so focused on the paper’s future Internet success that he wouldn’t care if the paper stopped publishing in print in several years — at least according to an interview with an Israeli newspaper.

“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 told Haaretz, which posted the interview on its Web site Tuesday. “Internet is a wonderful place to be and we’re leading there,” he added.

During the Q&A, which reportedly occurred at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, Sulzberger also commented on the viability of online advertising, the challenges of merging print and Web newsrooms, and even bloggers.

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Some excerpts:

On investing in online and the advertising revenue it can provide:
“These costs aren’t even near what print costs,” Sulzberger explains. “The last time we made a major investment in print, it cost no less than a billion dollars. Site development costs don’t grow to that magnitude.”

On merging print and online news operations, which the Times did last year: “You know what a newspaper’s news desk is like? It’s like the emergency room at a hospital, or a military system. Both organizations are very goal-oriented, and both are very hard to change,” Sulzberger says. “But once the journalists grasped the concept, they flipped and embraced it, and supported the move.”

On bloggers, which the Times has added regularly to its site during the past year: “We are curators,” he explains: curators of news. People don’t click onto the New York Times to read blogs: they want reliable news that they can trust, he said.

Click here to read the entire interview.

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