Hugh Hewitt

"I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care, either," said New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to Haaretz Tuesday.

We don’t care either. The “we” are the one time loyal readers of newspapers. “We” are the “market.” And the market doesn’t “care” about carriages driven by horses, ships with sails, or the Pony Express. The market cares about demand, and demand for newspapers is drying up.

There are many reasons for that “system perturbation” as Pentagon guru Thomas Barnett brands those paradigm-shifting shocks that can hit countries, corporate sectors, or single companies. In the world of newspapers, the endemic hard-left bias of the newsrooms weakened the brand of the MSM so that when the internet arrived and the not-so-loyal customer shed the monthly cost of the unread glop of print on the driveway there was no cushion of dedicated news consumers across the political spectrum to help absorb the blow. Now the papers are sinking into a sea of red ink –victims of their own arrogance and ideological blinkers.

What to do? I wrote on this subject yesterday in very general terms: The papers have to jettison the old guard, and do so quickly.

But they have to do much, much more than hand out watches to the productivity-challenged cohort in their 50s and 60s that populate the upper reaches of management.

They have to change everything, and very quickly. When you are sinking like a stone –and the bigs in Boston and Los Angeles are—trimming a few dozen jobs here or changing the margins of the paper’s size there won’t do the trick.

I like newspapers, and I like journalists. I have contributed to the former since 1979 and have been the latter since 1990. So in that spirit pf a colleague whose medium of the web and radio is doing very well indeed, a few suggestions. They are particular to the Los Angeles Times, but the method can be replicated in any market.

I confess I no longer read the Times. It is dull beyond description. Occasionally one of their “writers” will issue forth with a particularly insipid bit of prose which will be called to my attention and I’ll try and engage the writer, but generally, its too damn dull to care. I suspect that their already plummeting circulation is buoyed by subscribers too lazy to get the number to cancel.

Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.