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Innovation

New York Times memo: We're "not a newspaper company"

The New York Times finally realizes it's not a newspaper company. It's similar to when IBM realized it's not a computer company . . .
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor on
Sometimes entire industries have to transform themselves. That's what happened with the computer industry when it faced the challenge from the microprocessor/PC revolution. This basket of inexpensive technologies grew to challenge all the computer (and software) companies. It disrupted hundreds of companies. Even IBM barely managed to survive. It took Lou Gerstner, head of IBM, nearly ten years to transform IBM from "the world's largest computer company" into "the world's largest computer services company." It's not a semantic distinction, it's a vital distinction. And that's what newspaper companies need to do, they need to transition into news services companies. Paper or electron it shouldn't matter how the news is delivered. Yet so many newspaper people -- and I know a lot -- still think of themselves as working for a newspaper company. Well it seems the penny has finally dropped at the New York Times.

In a recent memo you will find the following:

...we are a news company, not a newspaper company. We are committed to offering our consumers our content wherever and whenever they want it and even in ways they may not have envisioned – in print or online – wired or mobile – in text, graphics, audio, video or even live events.

Because of our high-quality journalism, we have very powerful and trusted brands that attract educated, affluent and influential audiences. These audiences are a true competitive advantage as we move into an increasingly digital world.

Finally, our most valuable news organization gets it. This is very encouraging for the future of quality journalism, imho.


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