CEO of the New York Times: paper newspapers are expected to disappear in 20 years


The New York Times was founded in 1851, and Mark Thompson, the departing chief executive, would be surprised if the paper newspaper could survive until 2040.
“I’m sure the times will survive 10 years and probably 15 years, but I’d be surprised if it’s still in print 20 years from now,” Thompson said
Thompson said more than 900000 people have subscribed to print newspapers. At current subscription levels, newspapers can print seven days a week without any advertising, he said.
But as readers become more and more accustomed to reading the New York Times on smartphones, tablets and computers, print newspapers are clearly a dying form. For the first time in the last quarter, the company’s total digital revenue exceeded print revenue. Influenced by the novel coronavirus pneumonia and the long term downward trend, print advertising dropped by more than 50% over the previous quarter. Thompson told the media that he doubted whether print ads would ever come back.
“I doubt if it will return to its level in 2019,” Thompson said. “It has been on a year-on-year decline for years. I think the decline may be unstoppable. ”
After eight years at the helm, Thompson will step down as chief executive of the New York Times next month and be replaced by Meredith kopit Levien. As chief executive, Thompson has experienced a rise of more than 400% in the New York Times. The company’s revenue comes from a surge in digital subscriptions, especially in the past five years. In October 2015, the New York Times had 1 million digital subscriptions. At the end of the second quarter, the New York Times had 5.7 million pure digital subscribers. Thompson set a goal for the company to reach 10 million digital users by 2025.
Thompson acknowledged that Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election helped the New York Times’s subscription surge, but said much of the company’s back office work was to better synchronize its digital products with 2016, thus setting off a perfect storm.
“I think we took action together in 2016,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of digital expertise. We decided to give priority to subscription, not only from printing to digital business, but also from advertising investment to subscription. Just at the product, customer and market level, we have become better. So when opportunities arise, we are ready to seize them. ”
Thompson also predicted that there would be more news in the next decade than in the past decade, which he said meant New York Times subscriptions would continue to grow.
“Obviously, a dramatic news cycle – day after day, lots of stories and lots of front page headlines – obviously helps,” Thompson said. “Our society is torn apart by the basic destructive power of social fragmentation, globalization, automation, climate change, mass migration, and so on. If you think an election result can solve these problems, the news can go back to 1958, I don’t believe.
“After decades of stability after the war, we are now in a frenzy of uncertainty, tension and anger, and I don’t think that anger will go away,” he said. “I think we knew in advance that the losers of the 2020 presidential election, no matter who they are, do not want to believe that the election is legal. The fighting will continue, and so will the noise. “