One if by land, two if online

The Times of London is going to start printing in New York, the Guardian reports. I’d heard that Times Editor Robert Thompson was in New York last week, apparenty preparing for invasion. The Guardian says:

The US launch, with an initial print run of several thousand and a sample price of $1 a copy, is likely to be seen as an attack on the Financial Times, the only British paper printed in New York.

I’ll also predict that this is the first shot in another British war to be fought here. The Guardian’s popularity and brand have grown considerably since the web … and since the Iraq war. Americans are looking for alternative views and for journalistic voices that are more transparent about their perspectives, like the British press. (Full disclosure: I write and occasionally consult for The Guardian.)

But the real battle isn’t in print at all. The Guardian quotes a senior Times exec:

The aim is to enhance its online readership as well as give the paper a US presence. “This is really an online play. There is no better billboard in America than a newsstand,” said the executive.

There you have it: Print has officially become value-added promotion to online. And online allows these brands to expand internationally without relying on the cost and limitations of print. So now the battle is on.

: Here‘s The Times’ own announcement.

  • I will be 45 in a short while. I have always lived somewhere a daily newspaper was delivered. Either with my parents or on my own, I always got the paper, sometimes two, occasionally three.

    I just cancelled my newspaper subscription. It was a combination of things. I like reading a little bit from a lot of different sources online, rather than sticking to one newspaper.

    Mostly, though, it was the paper. I moved to a place where they only pick up recyclables every 2 weeks. The vast quantities of newsprint in the bin made me sad and ashamed. I read the paper for 15 minutes to an hour a day depending on my schedule, and I just couldn’t see going through a tree every couple weeks to do that anymore.

  • hey

    Interesting that they see it as an attack on the FT. I’m guessing that there is a very minimal number of people who would switch from the FT to The Times. I like the Times and the Telegraph, but they’re additional papers, not main papers. Just like WSJ subscribers will take another local paper or two. To the real FT customer, the FT and WSJ are the papers that matter, and you add on to that.

    Great to have them printing in the US though. I love the UK papers and it’s great to not have to pay daily airmail for them.