Just another sunny newspaper guy

Marc Andreessen is a really smart guy and I don’t mean to be pollyannish, but I’m not ready to do a deathwatch on The New York Times, despite its boardroom brawls with big investors, its stock price plunge over the course of 2007 and its sickly recent earnings.

Even with all the bad news, I’m just optimistic enough to think it’s a bit premature to write the prepared obit for The New York Times and the rest of the newspaper industry.

He does have a point in that media companies boardrooms are stocked with more Scotch than experts in the most important platform for their future. And you may not even be able to find the good Scotch.

Andreessen, creator of the first widely used Web browser, Mosaic, didn’t even bother to  mention mobile. Maybe he thinks the deathwatch will be over before that takes over?


  1. I felt like Andreessen wasn’t so much expecting the Times to just go away, as he was hoping for a change of ownership. I would be crushed if the Times died (and I think it’s inconceivable that it would any time soon), but some new blood at the helm might not be such a bad thing.
    The Times already has a pretty decent array of mobile offerings, but I doubt those generate much revenue. I made a few comments about Andreessen’s post here.
    In addition to co-writing Mosaic and founding Netscape, Andreessen also founded OpsWare (sold to HP for $1.6 billion in 2007) and currently runs the successful social network company Ning. He’s a very smart guy, not a one-hit wonder, and I think his criticism here is valid.

  2. I certainly agree Andreessen is a smart guy and his comments should be taken seriously. I think the deathwatch part is hyperbole. I think your post on his is actually more on target.

Comments are closed.