A chat with the NYT’s Arthur Sulzberger

by Mathew on February 8, 2007

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the New York Times and son of the man who preceded him in that job, gave a relatively revealing interview (for a Sulzberger at least) to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz recently, which I found through a link at Journalistopia. Like Danny Sanchez, I was struck by this comment:

Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years? “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.

Sulzberger also says that the Times has doubled its online readership to 1.5 million a day — which is larger than its print subscriber base of 1.1 million. And he admitted that “Once upon a time, people had to read the paper to find out what was going on in theater. Today there are hundreds of forums and sites with that information,” but says

“The paper can integrate material from bloggers and external writers. We need to be part of that community and to have dialogue with the online world … 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.”

Oh, and if you were thinking that maybe the Times might reconsider its pay wall, and/or offer its new Times Reader software to readers for free? Doesn’t sound like Art Jr. feels that way.

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