When our paths cross

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Peter Krasilovksy, Jay Small, and Steve Yelvington had some thoughtful comments late this week about when online ad revenues will intersect with print ad revenues.

Whether it's five years, 10, 12 or more, it's interesting that people are beginning to stake out a date instead of just "sometime in the future" and "someday."

The "tipping point" for growth of online ad spending vs. print ad spending has long passed and we're somewhere along the hockey stick curve.

Of course, for newspapers (and other traditional media), it is possible the print pie will grow smaller while at the same time, their slice of total online revenue declines. This could result in a worst of all worlds.

Some are pursuing what might be called a soft transition strategy of ramping up online revenues while developing new revenue sources to continue to modestly grow print revenues. That's the main problem with picking a target date for the crossing lines on the graphs: the innovation factor.

But even in the most optimistic of scenarios, the transition from the print model to the online model will be painfully disruptive.

Which way it goes rests with the leadership of media companies. They have the wherewithal in money and talent to successfully make the transition if they act boldly. Sadly, industry wide, too often the mind set has been reactionary or protectionist.

Maybe we need something like this to predict our fate.