Food for thought, Wednesday, Feb. 25


Eight of us, half who have worked or still work in mainstream media, and the rest young New Media entrepreneurs, had a lively discussion about the future of so-called old or mainstream media.

The consensus was that traditional mediums will not die off however they will become significantly smaller and will have to share the galaxy they once dominated with the emerging media ventures.

The future business models for traditional media will be much smaller, said Jim Kennedy, vice president-strategy of the Associated Press. “Newspapers, which was a combined $60 billion business,” is now a $4 million business on the Internet.”

The newspaper business was critically injured in the early 21st when its classified advertising, once thought of as an untouchable and reliable source of revenue, migrated to online sites such as Craig’s List.

Newspapers panicked, said Jennifer Carroll, vice president/ digital content with Gannett Co. “Publishers said that’s our market base. We can’t give it away.”

Joe Marchese of, a representative of the emerging media companies, said new consumer habits are changing traditional media. For example at the Digg online site, most-popular reader stories dominate.

Furthermore, social networking sites are experiencing bold demographic change. At, said Marchese, 50-something women have become a top demographic.

Amra Tareen of said as daily newspapers try with mixed success to make over their front pages in order to retain 21st century readers, she faces challenges at her Web site. “Our user interface changed,” she said. “We let users decide what is relevant.”

“The audiences, “ said Kennedy of the Associated Press, “are ahead of us.”

The certainty, said the lunch table participants is that traditional media such as daily newspapers will be much smaller than the salad days of the late 1900s. “The pieces of the pie,” said Tareen, “are going to be different, or, shrinking.”

Other participants included George Brock of The Times of London, Aki Hashmi of and Catherine Geanuracos of Live Earth.

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