In your lovely Monday media column: Bill Keller speaks on the NYT's future (it'll be fine!), New York's least fun media Super Bowl party revealed, papers advertise, and more!
NYT editor Bill Keller, is answering reader questionsand the first sixtyeleven were basically: "Is your paper dying or what?" Keller (we like him!) gives a bit of the boilerplate optimism, with these highlights:
"The cash flow necessary to pay our bills — despite some of the nonsense you may have read elsewhere — is not about to run dry any time soon... I think in the next year or two, we must examine all our options with an open mind, test those that are testable, and make some hard choices. My expectation (and I remind you of the disclaimers regarding my business acumen) is that for the foreseeable future our business will continue to be a mix of print and online journalism, with the growth online offsetting the (gradual, we hope) decline of print."
The first sentence is questionable, and depends on how you define "any time soon." The second sentence is surely true. The last sentence features an overly optimistic conclusion. Still, we like Bill. Strong, competent face. [Related: The NYT has pension fund problems, like everyone.]
Because of the recession, no fancy sponsors would pay for Sports Illustrated's editor to go to the Super Bowl, so he was forced to watch it in New York with Lewis Lapham, Dan Abrams, and Richard Johnson! Sounds awful.
Agency Spy says Saturday Night Live got paid $3 million to license its MacGruber character for that Pepsi Super Bowl ad last night. That's the price of buying a full ad. Just saying.
Point-missing of the day: Forbes.com columnist Tunku Varadarajan writes about the Michael Phelps bong photos, "in a story such as this, we need to ask whether anything of value—to the readers, to society at large—was imparted by the News of the World's story, and, especially, by the salivating manner of its telling." No of course not. Jesus.
Hey, there's a new "grassroots" (ed note: psht) group dedicated to saving the newspaper industry by running ads. We applaud the goal, but it is, of course, doomed to fail, the decline of the newspaper industry being a problem that ads cannot solve. The group also has a website: "Unlike websites that feature negative, gloom-and-doom stories about newspapers, this website will be devoted to insightful articles, commentary and research that provide a more balanced perspective on what newspaper companies can do to survive and thrive in the years ahead." We encourage you all to read it, and then read this website, and draw your own conclusions.