Last Ones Standing


It was inevitable, I suppose, that the Ochs-Sulzberger family, custodians of the New York Times, felt obliged to say that they have no interest in selling their newspaper after their peers at the Washington Post, the Meyer-Grahams, sold their family jewel to Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos. But their statement should not have been necessary. Despite apparent similarities—two fierce journalistic rivals run by fourth-generation publishers—the Post and the Times are different businesses in very important ways.

And while the digital revolution and the economic crash of 2008 have put severe stresses on both newspapers, the Times model offers more promise for growth. After a period of fits and starts, the Times is now moving aggressively and effectively to seize its advantages.

I know the differences because I spent a few years in management at the Post back in the day—when the online future was still a distant, faint rumbling—and once…

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