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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 25, 2006 at 5:42 PM

Newspapers’ future in search?

As part of its transition into the digital media era, the newspaper industry should either start its own search engine or partner with companies such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!, newspaper magnate William Dean Singleton said during a panel discussion today at the American Society of Newspaper Editors conference in Seattle.

“I see our industry coming together … and putting together a national search engine that we own and dominate and run, or partnering with Yahoo! or Microsoft or even Google and letting them monetize our news and split the revenue with us,” said Singleton, chief executive of the privately held MediaNews Group.

Despite gloomy talk about the industry, newspapers have a strong future because of their content and positions in local markets, said Singleton and fellow panelists Gary Pruitt, chief executive of The McClatchy Co., and Credit Suisse publishing analyst William Drewry.

“There’s new economic opportunity for the industry to be had,” Drewry said. “The tough part is going to be managing the transition from physical to digital.”

Bill Gates speaks at the conference Friday. Perhaps we’ll learn whether he’s thinking like Singleton.

Comments | More in | Topics: Digital media

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