Future of printed newspapers ‘telescoping dramatically’

The likely timespan left for print editions of newspapers is shrinking faster than anyone expected, three publishing executives have  separately predicted.  

First came comments from Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian in the UK, who told an event: “I would miss print.”

“Our last printing presses (which were installed in 2005)  I had a feeling in my bones that they might be the last printing presses. I was thinking 20 years at that point. I think that might be telescoping quite dramatically now.”

At the same debate, John Witherow, editor of The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and is about to switch on its paywall, said: “We’ve got new presses that were supposed to last 30 or 40 years. We rather assumed the same thing, that these would be the last. Things are speeding up now and for us to predict how long print will be around is very difficult.”

Meanwhile, at a separate event, the director of global content standards for Pearson, which owns The Financial Times, said the company is already using less presses. Madi Solomon said of newspapers: “They’re investing a lot in their online presence. Yes, they do see the end of print. That pink broadsheet has such fond memories for so many people that I don’t think they’ll completely stop printing, but they will certainly pull back – in fact, they’re already pulling back.”


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