NYT’s Sulzberger: Online Pay Approach in the Future

LONDON—The New York Times will stop printing a newspaper sometime in the future, date to be determined. That was part of the message delivered by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the venerable publication, during the WAN-IFRA 9th International Newsroom Summit here. But the publisher was merely making a point rather than predicting the end of newsprint.

However, the Times is looking to grow its readership base via the Internet. The newspaper is rolling out a metered paywall in 2011 that allows readers to view a certain number of articles for free each month, which won’t discourage search engine users who happen upon a story in the Times. But the frequent visitors will be asked to pony up. Sulzberger confirmed to Summit attendees that the paper will work with Google to implement First Click Free.

Sulzberger told attendees that it was pointless to project when printed newspapers might go away. He also said the paper is not afraid to abandon an approach that is not working, and that he low cost of tinkering in the digital age makes experimentation easier.