NYT print to be profitable, says CEO
Despite a surge in digital subscriptions, the New York Times will still retain its print edition, says president and CEO Mark Thompson.
“Our print platform is strongly contribution margin positive. It throws up a lot of free cash and it’s got many, many loyal readers. I think it will be contribution margin positive for well over another decade. My view is probably for 15 years or more. So, this takes us to 2034-35, maybe longer,” Thomson commented.
Thompson shared his views in an interview with Economic Times on his recent visit to India.
When asked if he was visiting India for potential markets, Thompson said, ““We have around 30,000 digital subscribers in India. Essentially, I’m here to try and meet people and learn. We are meeting some business partners and government officials.”
Thompson joined the Times in 2012 from BBC. At that point in time, the newspaper was in a financial crisis with profits plummeting by over 80 percent. With time, he completely changed the company. Now, the Times has over 4 million digital subscribers and is aiming at 10 million by 2025. “Our citation was that we will get from 3 million to 4 million quicker than we got from zero to 1 million. So, we’ve got some momentum in that model and it’s still speeding up,” he said.
“Today, the Times has about 32 foreign bureaus, but in addition to New York, it has got quite big editorial centers in Hong Kong and London. And, as always, senior editors up in one time zone, were keeping the whole thing going around the world and around the clock. But we need to plan on what are we going to put up at 4 am and 6 am etc. So yes, the newsroom has changed fundamentally,” added Thompson.
Lastly, Thompson added “Our job is not to please any government… We are just trying to get to the bottom of it.”