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Wonder if former K-R execs look at the alleged Apple Tablet and kick themselves?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    On the right, the alleged Apple tablet computer, allegedly forthcoming this spring. On the left, Knight-Ridder's prototype tablet device from 1994.


  2. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Eh, they're just happy they don't have this on their resumes:

  3. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    At least its nice to see that newspaper execs may have been too far ahead of the curve for once.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Well, how many ways can you design a tablet that don't involve it being large, flat and having a screen?

    The trick is the guts and the software.
  6. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    If they aren't kicking themselves, I'd be willing to kick them. I spent 30 years working for Knight-Ridder, which once was the best company in the industry. Once.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Oh, I think it's a load of crap to blame the KR execs. Some of the papers (all of them?) had an employee stock-purchase plan, and those who took advantage of it roared with approval every time the KR stock price went up. I recall no one saying let's try something that's gonna lose money for the next 20 years and drive down the short-term earnings. I'll admit that I thought it was silly to think adults are going to haul an Etch A Sketch around with them the entire day. We still have no guarantee this will make money for content producers.
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    If the Kindle is a gauge I believe this will be a very successful product.

    I hall my Kindle everywhere and spend a fair amount of money monthly to keep it loaded.

    For the Times and The Journal you can't beat it. I now get the New Yorker at 5 am on Monday instead of waiting for the postman to bring it Thursday.

    If I hear about a book and decide I want it, I can have it on my Kindle 5 minutes later.
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Thay's really beside the point, whether this will be a profitable endeavor at some point hence. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. The point is whether KR execs should be blamed om hindsight for pulling the plug on something that likely would have incurred significant losses for a decade or two. I think they shouldn't be. Should someone have continued to experiment with this? Sure, someone who wasn't accountable to shareholders (which in KR's case included many employees). I don't recall many people in the industry howling in protest when the plug was pulled. It's not as though KR's execs at the time were profoundly more shortsighted than anyone else in the industry. Probably they understood this might work someday -- just not soon enough to justify the continuing expense without foreseeable profts.
  10. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    If they had rolled it out then, the execs who did it would have been fired.

    It would have been a disaster because the technology wasn't there. The need wasn't there and the desire for it wasn't there.

    For the life of me, I don't know why anyone would be kicking themselves, but it does indicate, at least to me, that the newspaper business was trying. Just that everything they tried, at least for the most part, didn't work out.
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