New York Times Publisher Says Print Edition Will Eventually Fade Out

It’s easy to imagine most newspapers ceasing print editions, but surely stalwarts such as the New York Times will always stick around in physical form, if only to serve tradition, right? Wrong, says Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the New York Times chairman and publisher.

“We will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD,” Sulzberger told an international newsroom summit in London in an article on Deadline.

The online-only Times will come at a price, though. The company announced earlier that it’s re-instituting a version of a pay wall next year.

“Information is less and less yearning to be free,” said Sulzberger, in a quote that seems fit to be etched on the tombstone of print journalism.

NYT’s Sulzberger: No Print Edition In Future [Deadline]

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  1. Talisker says:

    It’s going to get really expensive lining bird cages with e-readers.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Did you know that before toilet paper, people just wiped with whatever newspaper/magazine they had received? Back in the day of course, every read instead of watching TV or surfing the net. So printed paper was abundant. Modern TP wasn’t invented until the late 1800s.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Can you get those freebie papers ?

  2. jessjj347 says:

    Why are newspapers dying in the U.S. but not in the U.K?

    • elganador says:

      Because they actually write content in the UK, rather than endlessly reprinting AP feeds.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Don’t be so sure. Last year, the Telegraph reported that half of Britain’s local newspapers could shutter in five years.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/media/5550076/Half-of-local-papers-could-fold-media-experts-warn.html

    • MaliBoo Radley says:

      Because of the culture of corner shops and news stands that exist in that country. People don’t have their paper delivered. A standard part of a person’s day is picking up a paper as they walk to the bus or tube. Since people don’t drive as much, they have the opportunity to stop and pick up a paper .. and have time to read it.

      • jessjj347 says:

        Yeah, the biggest difference I’ve noticed is people reading newspapers on public transit.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        I’ll be waving buh-bye to my daily NYTimes habit once it isn’t free anymore. Sorry!

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          Good for you, I guess?

        • PLATTWORX says:

          “I’ll be waving buh-bye to my daily NYTimes habit once it isn’t free anymore. Sorry!”

          I’m sorry you felt the New York Times should be giving their product away for free. Should Walmart and Target let customers do the same? That is exactly what you are saying.

      • ktetch says:

        Wrong, a lot of people have their newspaper delivered. paper-rounds are the cornerstone of the young teen job market

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          Not in the two places I lived. Chiswick, West London and Maidstone, Kent. There, everyone’s morning seemed to start with a trip to a corner shop or newsstand. Maybe further out from the home counties it’s different.

      • ktetch says:

        Of course newspapers are delivered.teenagers deliver the evening papers every night, up and down the country. Heck, we brits get everything delivered. Mail comes through the door (rather that at the street) milk/eggs/butter/cheese, thanks to the milkman, the paperboy brings the newspaper, and stuffs it through the letterbox, and I even used to have soda delivered (came once a week, Sunday afternoons, 2 quid 20 for 5 1.5l (glass) bottles of whatever flavours I wanted.

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          The evening papers you’re talking about are the free rags, not the The Sun or The Mail. The sodas you’re talking about were shite and you know it. No one gets their milk, butter and eggs delivered anymore. Are you on crack? That may have been the standard 25 years ago, but things have changed. You either live in a very small town or in the past.

    • katarzyna says:

      They need something to wrap the fish & chips in.

  3. aleck says:

    Why is anybody surprised by that?
    And in a related story, AOL said the dial-up accounts will soon disappear.

  4. aloria says:

    But then what will my dogs pee on while I am at work?! :O

  5. PLATTWORX says:

    I have to say that while NATIONAL newspapers or papers who focus on news that can be easily found on cable TV have no audience, there is no replacing the LOCAL newspaper in a community.

    If the local newspaper is not supported by citizens and advertisers, the service it provides by investigating and reporting news that can be found nowhere else will be lost. You will have no idea if the major is embezzling or your tax dollars are bring spent wisely or if the teachers in your schools are being paid more than they should and if the kids are getting an decent education.

    Newspaper dies…. no watchdog, no one to report what’s happening locally, etc. Corrupt politicians, bad teachers, overpaid public servants, developers that want to put up projects that are good for them, bad for the community… all would love to not have the local newspaper’s eyes watching them.

    People have to keep this in mind when cancelling their subscription or refusing to pay for one online.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Some of the most exciting sources of news in the DC area comes from websites and blogs, free and hobby based or for profit. I keep up with transportation news and some of the most reputable watchdogs for the metro system are blogs started by riders, not corporate entities. Gothamist’s DCist website is one of the corporate entities that has really grown into a good source of news for the region.

      I read the Washington Post’s Express newspaper in the morning and whatever isn’t original content (which I like) is AP feeds that I read yesterday as it was happening, or at least when it was still fresh news. The problem with the old way of reporting the news is by the time it rolls off the press, most people have already read it online.

    • Kitten Mittens says:

      Because the internetz won’t be allowed to blog/report/identify these things?

      • PLATTWORX says:

        Sure, blogs written by citizens who have no journalistic experience who have no idea how to investigate stories or could be the cousin of the major who is embezzling are certainly excellent replacements for the unbiased newspaper coverage you get now. (eye roll)

        That would be similar to how BP ran tons of ads about how wonderful BP was at cleaning up the oil spill and made sure their name came up first in search result for “oil spill”.

        How many bloggers know how to file Freedom of Information act lawsuits to get records released when the police department or goverment tries to block their release?

        This is indeed the problem. The public has been able to google local news for free online or at newspaper web sites for years without any thought that the PAID subscribers are the ones paying the salaries of the reporters who wrote the stories. Now, partly due to the newspaper industry’s stupidity, people expect the product for free. Hense, no one thinks of news as something valuable that you need to pay for.

        (eye roll)

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          IMO, the benefit of a news organization is that individual reporters have the financial and insitutional backing to pursue investigations. The difference between the citizens and someone who has a business card from a newspaper is that that person gets to throw the institution between him or her and the people being investigated. Someone who has the backing of the bosses at the New York Times is going to get farther than someone who is on their own without the financial or editorial help. But it doesn’t mean that some people who are doing their own digging are NOT trained in that profession, it just means they’re not working for the NY Times.

    • dg says:

      Bullshit. The local newspaper is essentially 95% advertising anyway. They don’t want to irk the milk cow – so they don’t do anything offensive or report on anything controversial at all…

      Bloggers unite!

    • PunditGuy says:

      Newspapers != Journalism

      I say that as a former newsroom employee. Journalism doesn’t disappear when a newspaper folds — and frankly, the overall quality of newspaper reporting has been pretty dismal for a while. Let them die, already.

  6. MaliBoo Radley says:

    You mean things won’t always be like they are now?

  7. RayanneGraff says:

    I’m glad newspapers are dying out. Less tree-death.

  8. teke367 says:

    “Information is less and less yearning to be free,”

    I totally understand why the NYT would charged for online news, but lets be honest, the true quote should be “We are less and less yearing to give out information to be free.”

    • PLATTWORX says:

      More like journalist have to pay their mortgage and you have to pay them a salary to report things… which means you have to charge for the news. News reporting is not free. Even a smaller newspaper can pay millions in editorial salaries a year.

  9. ophmarketing says:

    That’s going to make grabbing the arts section on the way out the door, folding it over to the crossword, and completing it on the train on my way to work a LOT more difficult…

  10. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    And we wonder why some civilizations had no *written record.*

    ~just sayin!

  11. shepd says:

    New York Times Publisher Says Print Edition Will Eventually Fade Out

    Well, of course it will if you leave it in the sun! Duh!

  12. laughingisfree says:

    hope this doesn’t start a trend. newspapers has gotten me out of rain many times!

  13. hotcocoa says:

    It just a’int the same doing a crossword puzzle online :’(

  14. Warren says:

    Wall Street Journal has appeared to be going in the same direction this year.
    They raised their delivery rates tremendously and have done everything possible to get me to re-subscribe as online only customers. Their last email encouraging me to renew my subscription directed me to a renewal page that didn’t even have an option for delivery.

  15. dg says:

    Yawn… no shit. At some point in the next week, something will happen. Not saying what, or when, but something will happen!

    NYT – grow a brain. Paywalls don’t work. We’ve been over this – read the archives.

    • chasingveronica says:

      Paywalls do work. As an employee of one, I would know.

    • bravohotel01 says:

      http://gigaom.com/2010/07/19/ruperts-paywall-is-meant-to-keep-people-in-not-out/

      “The problem with [the paywall] strategy is that it is fundamentally a retrenchment approach — in other words, a fall-back rather than a move-forward strategy. While it may be true that keeping out casual web users and forcing regular readers to pay may improve online advertising revenue somewhat (since advertisers will perceive paying readers as more valuable than non-paying users), and putting up a wall may prevent some continuing slippage in print readers (although not as much as the paper probably hopes it will), it does little to grow the online side of the equation. Contrast that with the approach taken by The Guardian, which is making its content freely distributable through an open API.”

  16. Hoss says:

    There was a time when I truly enjoyed the NYT and the local Boston Globe. Starting on page one and slowly reading through to completion with a hot brew, just like dad, was especially nice on Sunday morning. But the NYT seemed to want to force our subscription cancellation with huge price increases. And then Safire died. So no more NYT here.

  17. JeremieNX says:

    I think it’s a shame to see real local reporting and journalism go the way of the dodo. The crap AP feeds that fills most papers doesn’t cut it, and TV news is worse. In addition, most blogs are hardly worth the internets they occupy. Even established blogs such as the Consumerist would be a poor substitute.

  18. clarkbarr says:

    Sulzberger forgets to tell his audience that the New York Times stopped printing news years ago.

  19. Levk says:

    Yes NYTimes, sell the public information they can read or watch for free. yes I see your evil plan to get a bail out yes I do.