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14th Feb 2018

“Print journalism has maybe another 10 years”, according to New York Times CEO

Rory Cashin

The head of one of the biggest newspapers in the world has said that print might have to face an expiration date.

In an interview with NBC, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson stated that he believes print journalism only has about a decade left before being made defunct:

“There may come a point when the economics of [the print paper] no longer make sense for us. […] We’ll decide that simply on the economics.”

Thompson revealed that there has been a slow but steady decline in print subscribers, there was a massive increase of 157,000 digital subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2017.

That is a 51% increase on digital subscribers from the same quarter in 2016, and also marks the New York Times as the first news organisation in the world to pass the 1 million digital-only subscription mark.

Thompson continued: “Without question we make more money on a print subscriber. But the point about digital is that we believe we can grow many, many more of them. We’ve already got more digital than print subscribers. Digital is growing very rapidly. Ultimately, there will be many times the number of digital subscribers compared to print.”

“The key thing for us is that we’re pivoting. Our plan is to go on serving our loyal print subscribers as long as we can. But meanwhile to build up the digital business, so that we have a successful growing company and a successful news operation long after print is gone.”

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