“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.”