Some won’t make it to the new world

Michael Wolff speaking at MediaGuardian’s Changing Media Summit in London:

“The chickens are coming home to roost. Most of the people who run traditional media will not be the people to step in to this new world.

“There is a line and people are not going to get over it. It used to be, up until 18 months ago, ‘there is a line but I hope I get to retirement before I cross that line’. This recession has meant people really understand that they won’t.

“It’s been happening since before the internet – it’s not because of it.

“Every big-city newspaper in the U.S. is either in bankruptcy or will be in bankruptcy in the foreseeable future – that’s 12 months. The newspaper industry in the U.S. is over.

“This has happened again and again and again in every industry – new technology has come along, and you just can’t make the change; it almost inevitably never happens. It’s easier to start with people who have no historical bias.

“If you’ve spent your career in one technology, in one business model, it’s just not efficient to have to undo that.

I think Mr. Wolff is right and his comments [emphasis mine] remind me of a post by Jay Rosen from 5 years ago.

“An industry that won’t move until it is certain of days as good as its golden past is effectively dead, from a strategic point of view. Besides, there is an alternative if you don’t have the faith or will or courage needed to accept reality and deal. The alternative is to drive the property to a profitable demise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *