Two weeks ago the New York Times Company reported a first-quarter loss of $74.5 million. Advertising revenue at the company’s publishing segment fell 28.4 percent in the quarter, including an 8 percent decline in Internet advertising at the News Media Group. The New England Media Group, which consists primarily of The Boston Globe and its site, Boston.com reported that it’s on track to lose $85 million this year, and as of Monday there were talks of closing this venerable institution founded in 1872.
Many individuals see this type of news as a condemnation of print as a media. I see it as a condemnation of newspapers as a channel of advertising – and let’s not get newspapers confused with printing.
Print will continue to play an important role in visual communications today and well into the future. Those of us in the industry just have to remember the mistake the railroads made at the turn of the last century and the newspaper made in this one. In the early 20th century, railroads did not understand they were in the transportation business – not the railroad business. Newspapers forgot they were in the business of producing/packaging news – not in the print producing business.