Two top newspaper executives agreed this week that their industry was in choppy waters, but differed somewhat in what needs to be done for long-term survival. Gary Pruitt, chairman and CEO of
McClatchy, and Gary Singleton, vice president and CEO of MediaNews, speaking on a panel at the American Society of Newspaper Editors' annual convention in Seattle, said their business was being
fundamentally altered by the deployment of broadband Internet. "There is no bigger problem in our industry today," said Singleton, who added that newspapers have to find a way to make money off the
content they now put online for free. "We have to get paid for it. We either have to come together as an industry or partner with Google or Yahoo or whomever. If we don't get paid for it, we aren't
going to continue to be able to produce it." Pruitt, on the other hand, expressed reservations about charging for online content, which he said risked the loss of readers. "I don't think it has to be
charged. Broadcast [has done] pretty well without charging," he told the industry audience.
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