Jeffrey Klein, who was a senior executive at the LAT before moving on to start an Internet publishing company, believes that print, as we know it, is done for. It's not a question of whether but when. "Internalize that, and you’ll make different decisions across the board," he posts on his Media Biz blog (via Romenesko). Looking back to the 1990s, Klein says that "we paid lip service to digital media, and wasted money and time on partnerships, experiments and lots of talk. But we failed to actually internalize the real threat to revenue streams; we were more concerned about cannibalizing our existing dollars than going full bore into new enterprises." As for where to go from here, Klein has a few ideas:
-- Double or triple print circulation price so that users pay more of the cost of printing and distributing the print product.
-- Simplify ad pricing—it's way too complicated for media buyers to understand.
-- Limit pages, rethink section configuration, and reduce the number of press runs (already in the works).
-- Decide what kind of news coverage you do best and rely on other providers for the rest.
-- Develop new Web-oriented revenue streams, such as email newsletters and microsites.