Times Publisher Likens Print Media to Titanic: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A newsstand in the Times Square subway station might look completely differnt (or maybe just the same) in another few years.

    One of the biggest names in publishing reportedly thinks print journalism is going the way of the Titanic.

    New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told New York Magazine (at a literacy benefit, no less) that print journalism is operating in the vein of the "Titanic Fallacy."

    He explains it this way:

    "What was the critical flaw to the Titanic?" We tried to answer: Poor construction? Not enough life boats? Crashing into stuff? "A captain trying to set a world speed record through an iceberg field?" he said, shaking his head. "Even if the Titanic came in safely to New York Harbor, it was still doomed," he said. "Twelve years earlier, two brothers invented the airplane."

    So, in this analogy, maybe the Titanic is print media and the airplane is the internet and we are going under, one way or another.

    Sort of, Sulzberger told Daily Intel.

    "We are trying to convert shipping companies to airplane companies," said Sulzberger. "Same business: transporting people safely across long distances. Different cost structure, different way of doing business, but the same core business. There is still a very vibrant business in shipping. It's just not taking masses of people across the Atlantic. It's now taking families around the Seychelles, or something like that. There will still be passenger ships, but they're not going to be in the same business. So print will still be here, I believe, decades from now. But will it be the driving force? No."

    Daily Intel points out that the comments come as the Times prepares to offer buyouts -- or lay off -- another 100 newsroom employees.  Yikes.