OLD Media Moves

Reuters' aversion to print

November 6, 2009

Reuters media reporter Robert MacMillan spent some time with Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer and pressed him on whether the company was interested in expanding its media properties.

MacMillan writes, “I asked our chief executive, Tom Glocer, a question along these lines on a Thursday phone call he had with reporters to discuss the company’s third-quarter financial results.

“Here is what he said:

Thomson did a remarkable job, far earlier than any other company I know, of seeing what was coming and transitioning their business out of print for the most part… I don’t see any particular time or reason at this juncture why we should go the other way.

“Later on Thursday, when I interviewed Glocer, we returned to this theme. (I can’t help it, I’m a print guy.) I used the Financial Times, owned by Pearson Plc and beloved of its CEO, Dame Marjorie Scardino, as a sample target:

“Here is Glocer’s reply:

When I came to London, Marjorie was famous for saying she would never sell the FT, or it would go ‘over my dead body.’ There were many years in which the FT had fallen on harder times when people held that up as well: Marjorie has to go before the FT.

“That sounds like a ‘no’ on the FT. What about other properties?

Is it impossible that somewhere in the world that we’d take a print property and move it electronic? No, but we’re not looking to go out and buy consumer print publications. That’s not what we think our business is.”

Read more here.

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