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The gray lady goes live

45_newyorknewyorktimes "I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," says New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, the paper's owner, chairman and publisher.

Talk about a shock to the system. I remember seeing The Gray lady in person for the first time. The granite face of The New York Times stared down at me like a well-travelled sailor's face, hardened by waves and storms, I was 13 at the time, visiting Manhattan with my dad. To any aspiring journalist, this was Mecca, the burning bush, the promised land all rolled into one. I was thrilled.

Today that image seems as lost to history as gas lamps and leaded paint. Declining circulation and revenue are driving newspapers to find a new religion; all roads lead to the internet.

Can you see a day when The New York Times is no longer printed on paper? Once mighty presses silenced by the digital age. Sulzberger can see it. I'll bet most newspaper companies do. And if they're planning for it, you better too.

When lights go out because the power's gone out, we realize how much we depend on it. That's why we prepare. Are you preparing for the day newspapers stop coming? 

Just in case you answered by saying, "Yep, I'm all set. My website is done." Drop me a line and I'll explain why you're probably speeding down a dead-end road.

And just for the record, my memory of the old New York Times building is, in fact, lost to history. They're no longer located at 229 West 43rd Street--as they had been for nearly a century. Today, you'll find The Times in a brand spankin-new tower.


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