Take a walk with us through today's headlines on Jim Romenesko's invaluable media-news roundup, won't you? It's the day after the New York Observer introduced its drastically different, long-tabloid design, part of new owner and publisher Jared Kushner's plan to turn the paper into something slightly different and perhaps even profitable. On Romenesko's site, you've got Steve Rattner, once a Times reporter and now a gazillionaire financier, writing in The Wall Street Journal about how the news business must come up with new models if it is to survive and thrive. (New models, like the Observer is introducing!)
You've got 60 Minutes stalwart Steve Kroft commenting that CBS News isn't the august operation it once was — but also noting that virtually no news organization still is, because current financial pressures make the old times impossible. (Financial pressures on media companies are changing, like at the Observer!) And you've got Times editor Bill Keller, talking in an interview with PBS's "News Wars" program, calling "surrender, despair, panic" the "gravest danger[s] facing our business." (So don't despair of changes, like those at the Observer!)
Then you've got David Carr, the Times's ostensible media-business columnist — is he still a media-business columnist? or just an Oscars expert who writes sometimes? — treating himself to 700 words of anguished despair over the loss of the old version of the Observer, never once mentioning changing financial pressures or business models. Which makes a reader wonder: Does nostalgic-for-the-status-quo Carr have $2 million a year to cover the Observer's status-quo losses?
Yes, yes, we ought to mention that we're friends with a bunch of folks at the Observer. But then, we'd describe ourselves as friendly with Carr, too.