Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ken Doctor: NYT should sell Santa Rosa

It's no secret that the New York Times is under pressure to make more money. Ken Doctor (right), a former Knight Ridder executive who is now with the research firm Outsell, says that while "it pains me to suggest it," it may be time for the Times to sell off its regional papers like the Press Democrat so that it can concentrate on its core business. The Times jettisoned its TV stations last year, so selling off its regional papers isn't far fetched.

Doctor writes:
    "[T]he Times runs above-average regional properties, from Boston to Sarasota to Santa Rosa. Most observers will tell you that it seems to devote more resources to those newsrooms than the average newspaper, and the communities served are better for it. The companies largely do good journalism, and they've made a lot of the right moves online, as good management overall and in the digital business pushes forward.

    ... Maybe, in our ideal world, the Times -- if it isn't forced to take a fire-sale approach to a sale -- could look for buyers who value the newspapers as community institutions and have the deep pockets to fund them as traditional revenue falls."

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