Not Quite Toast….Yet

“Our customers have an enormous interest in our newspaper on Sunday; have almost no interest on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, they’re more interested; and Saturday might as well be in the desert.” — swashbuckling Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell speaking to Conde Nast Portfolio‘s editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman in a q & a that went up on 11.24.

“I haven’t figured out how to cash in a Pulitzer Prize. There was a day when a newspaper put ‘Winner of Pulitzer Prize’ on the front page, and people flocked to read the Pulitzer Prize story. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that that’s the case today. But I also think that there are scale issues. In other words, I think that if the goal is a Pulitzer, it’s in the wrong place. In other words, we’re not in the business of, in effect, underwriting writers for the future. We’re a business that, in effect, has a bottom line.

“So as far as we’re concerned, I think Pulitzers are terrific, but Pulitzers should be the cream on the top of the coffee. They shouldn’t be the grounds. And I think there are a lot of scenarios in the newspaper industry where the entire focus is on Pulitzers.

“If you want to play futuristic — and I don’t know how big an f on the word futuristic — you can make a case that the world in the future is all Kindles, and you’ll send out an email to everybody to their Kindle, and that’s how they’re going to get their newspaper every morning. That’s a real possibility at sometime in the future.”

4 thoughts on “Not Quite Toast….Yet

  1. Deathtongue_Groupie on said:

    Uh, Zell, by the time an article wins a Pulitzer, the only place you can read it is online in the archived section.

    Which the LA Times charges you a fee to do. So, in your usual ass-backwards manner, you are putting down something that actually makes you money.

    Why the fuck did they not sell to Geffen??? Whose dick did Zell suck to get his mitts on the paper he is trying to drive into the ground?

  2. Zell talking about the future of media is like a janitor discussing what he’d do if he owned the Cubs. Zell is the reason newspapers are in the tank with their leverage buyout BS.

  3. they charge $2 for a Sunday paper in Chicago. They charged $2 for the Thursday paper because of Black Sunday ads.
    I don’t know who’s managing the Trib, but I don’t buy it because it costs 75c for the daily and they’ve cut all the good columnists. Maybe the Trib should be a weekly like Time….but Zell keeps tinkering with it and that’s not good…however, I do like the new front page.

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