Everybody is searching for a way to keep the news business viable, including former Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein in his new role as a Hearst vp. Robert MacMillan of Reuters asked him how the newspaper business needs to change.
- “How it needs to change? Anybody who tells you they have the answer to that question, or the answer to the question, ‘What’s the successful business model for journalism,’ is lying to you. Because no one has it,” Bronstein said, according to Reuter’s Media File blog. “People are doing things that may end up being right. Everybody’s reinventing, blowing up … You could write a great historical memo from an anonymous editor using only buzzwords that editors use in their speeches to the newsroom: ‘This is how you do it,’ ‘We have to engage the reader more,’ ‘We have to be more nimble,’ ‘We have to be more Web-friendly.'”
Bronstein also said that the “quirky pioneering billionaires” who were buying newspapers a few years ago are probably getting tired of losing money, and asking themselves what were they thinking when they got into the business. The Reuters piece doesn’t say whether Bronstein identified those billionaires, but Sam Zell (Tribune Co.) and Phil Anschutz (The Examiner) come to mind.