New York Times, Murdoch – Wolff knows; online? Not so much.


rupertmurdoch.jpgADOTAS — Michael Wolff met a Times reporter for lunch recently. The conversation turned to Rupert Murdoch, since Wolff had come out with a book on the newspaper baron. The reporter said to get editors interested in Murdoch stories, reporters had to pitch negative stories.

It’s understandable. Murdoch lusts after the Times. People might scoff, Wolff said, at a New York Press Association talk yesterday, but people also scoffed when Murdoch wanted to buy the Wall Street Journal a few years ago.

I was also interested in Wolff’s take on the future of online news, and a revenue model. I wasn’t impressed. He still remains optimistic on advertising. Unless someone comes up with a new model (iTune-like), quality journalism will shrink to the relative few. Even the Times, growth in readership in both print and online, has seen online advertising slowing. Wolff used his own site as example.

What the mostly geriatric crowd probably didn’t know was that Newser doesn’t produce content. It just gathers stories. Not exactly a model for creation. (And for anyone looking, Wolff said the site was seeking ‘subeditors,’ whatever that is.)

I was also surprised, though afterward I realized it made sense, when Murdoch makes the move for the Times, he’ll sell the NY Post. The likely buyer? The New York Daily News, says Wolff.

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