The Moose is Back at the New York Times

NYT isn't fit for the bottom of a birdcage.

Posted by Xixi at January 8, 2005 5:19 PM

My, isn't that last quote revealing. To ask people why they don't subscribe, and to change one's product accordingly, is to "dumb down or spice up" the paper. The idea that the NYT could improve circulation by becoming smarter, more respectful of fact, less oleaginously partisan, and more informative is... well, it is not in the brain. It is an un-concept. There is no room for it.

Posted by jaed at January 8, 2005 5:21 PM

In Bill Keller's universe, the customer is always wrong.

Posted by DTVL at January 9, 2005 11:25 AM

If I'd thought of that sentence, I could have saved myself about 1,200 words.

Posted by Van der Leun at January 9, 2005 11:33 AM

And now the idiots are toying with the idea of charging to read it on the Web.

Go right ahead. Shoot the other foot already.

Posted by growler at January 10, 2005 10:30 AM

It's not the politics. Newspapers are slowly dying out, period. All of them.

The NYT's problem is that they are still trying to make money on a 19th-century business model, and it's already 2005. They may parlay the brand equity into a viable business on the web, but if they still haven't caught on even now, the odds are against it. They are continuing out of pure inertia. How old is their average subscriber? What has that number been doing, this last decade? Creeping up a bit, I suspect. I'm betting their customers are mostly people whose media habits were formed before 1996. Those people aren't getting any younger.

Maybe they can do a co-branding deal with Cadillac. Buy a Caddy, get a free subscription to the NYT -- with all the shuffleboard coverage that's fit to print!

I hate to sound triumphal about this, because it's an old and venerable institution. It's a shame to see these things go, but if it can't survive, it can't survive. I sure wouldn't tolerate public funding for it.

Posted by garhghh at January 10, 2005 4:44 PM