Why Have Separate Online And Paper Newsrooms?

from the it's-all-the-same-isn't-it? dept

The NY Times has been something of a leader with their online division over the years. While not all of the decisions they've made have been smart, they've always tried to be at the forefront of figuring out how an online news organization should work. While the division is often described as profitable, that's really mostly been because certain high-revenue deals with companies like Lexis Nexis that pre-dated the web were lumped into the online division. It also didn't hurt that much of the "content" is developed by the paper side of the company. Of course, that leads to the obvious question of why the two sides are separate divisions? Apparently the folks at the NY Times were wondering that as well, and the two sides will be merged into one group by 2007. If anything, it's surprising that it took this long.

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  1. identicon
    K_D, 2 Aug 2005 @ 10:57pm

    No Subject Given

    While there may have been various reasons at the start, be it operational (not much space, at the time, at the old Times property) or cultural (those old guys won't get it and we'll be better off on our own in our own separate space down the street), there might have been another reason...Unions. By having them separate (in both operation and structure) they may have avoided having the online folks be automatically covered under collective bargaining of the newsprint side unions. Publishers usually try to avoid hiring a bunch of people in union covered, hard to fire people, jobs, esp on new products with an unclear future. Unions may not be entirely against this because they know that if the new product becomes successful, they may have a chance to flip these jobs towards the union down the line...and they can also use this as negotiating leverage (we won't make a fuss about the new media jobs (for moment) if you give us X now)

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