Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sulzberger: "Look Ma, I Shrunk The Times!"

The New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. is preparing for the coming battle with Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal by shrinking the paper's physical size and news content, both by about 10%.

He's also retreating from the Maginot Line called Times Select, built two years ago to add electronic subscription revenue while shielding The NYT's first-tier opinion columnists from the rough and tumble of blogosphere discussion on the 'net.

Perhaps The Times knew that its core subscribers are not tech-savvy, perhaps it was an unintended consequence; either way, the paper's stable of opinion columnists, accustomed to be at the center of elite discussion of the news of the day, were effectively benched from the brawl. The opinions of Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, Frank Rich and Paul Krugman, with a bounty on their heads of $50 per year, became less accessible, and being so, have grown less consequential to the great debates roiling the country.

Mr. Sulzberger has made every choice wrong and he needs to go.

It's past time for the once-proud Grey Lady to fire the owner, recapture the credibility the paper has mislaid and attempt to re-establish its franchise of trust and value.

Cartoon courtesy NY Post, h/t OESY.

RELATED LINKS:"Progress in Anbar" – No! It Can't Be. Not the NY Times!
NY Times Shareholders to Mgmt: "Can You Hear Us Now?"

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