Jeff Jarvis blogs about the New Business Models for News Summit at the Graduate School for Journalism (CUNY).
As a result, we saw editorial and business people entering into frank conversations we don’t often hear, willing to reset assumptions and build new models. Included in that was a general acceptance that the cost structure of the news business is way too high and has to be cut. This slide from the Telegraph’s Edward Roussel resonated strongly in the room.
Roussel also said: “If you’re a newspaper group, your technology sucks.”
Just as Roussel was blunt and frank so was his fellow presenter on the topic of the disaggregated news organization, Dave Morgan, who quoted Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy, from only the day before. Pruitt said: “We believe that the majority of the decline that we are currently seeing is cyclical and therefore temporary.” After heaping caveats of praise on Pruitt as an executive, Morgan called bullshit. Exactly so. We need tough, honest talk now.
Picture: Slide from Edward Roussel’s presentation at the New Business Models for News summit at CUNY posted by Jeff Jarvis (link: Jeff Jarvis’ flickr)
This interview with Tom Evslin, technology expert, is revealing as it provides a view of the industry and its attitudes from the outside:
Any industry under threat tries to cut its way to greatness. Particularly industries that have had a controlling situation for a period of time. When indsturies were essentially monopolies or they have a franchise it’s very hard for the owners or stockholders to realize the value is evaporating. Their first reaction is that these are temporary times and cutting back is a solution.
Often this is a good first reaction – because they were monopolies these companies typically have a lot of fat. But there comes a point where you can’t cut anymore. There is nothing left to cut and if you keep cutting the product gets damaged and its a downward spiral. That is Telecom, newspapers, and perhaps the car industry.
Tom Evslin interview: http://newsinnovation.com/2008/11/05/interview-with-tom-evslin/
More comment and video: http://newsinnovation.com/
Jeff Jarvis Presentation: