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Here's the rest of the article:

"Nicholas Carlson | January 30, 2009 4:35 PM

Not that it's anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead.

Here's how we did the math:
According to the Times's Q308 10-Q, the company spends $63 million per quarter on raw materials and $148 million on wages and benefits. We've heard the wages and benefits for just the newsroom are about $200 million per year.
After multiplying the quarterly costs by four and subtracting that $200 million out, a rough estimate for the Times's delivery costs would be $644 million per year.

The Kindle retails for $359. In a recent open letter, Times spokesperson Catherine Mathis wrote: "We have 830,000 loyal readers who have subscribed to The New York Times for more than two years." Multiply those numbers together and you get $297 million -- a little less than half as much as $644 million.

And here's the thing: a source with knowledge of the real numbers tells us we're so low in our estimate of the Times's printing costs that we're not even in the ballpark.

Are we trying to say the the New York Times should force all its print subscribers onto the Kindle or else? No. That would kill ad revenues and also, not everyone loves the Kindle.

What we're trying to say is that as a technology for delivering the news, newsprint isn't just expensive and inefficient; it's laughably so.
"

I had to read it once I saw that headline :D

Marci
 

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It appears to me that the article is only talking about subscriptions. If you pick up the newspaper in Starbucks, you're not subscribing to it.
 

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An odd article. By the way, it's not a NYT article, it seems to be from Silicon Valley Insider.

I'm assuming that if they did go Kindle-only for subscriptions, the newsroom staff would still be a cost. Unless, of course, they decide to send only advertising to the subscribers.

As pigeon says, advertising is the main revenue source for newspapers. Most newspapers expect to make either a very small profit or a small loss from subscriptions and newsstand sales.
 

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Lotus said:
I'm assuming that if they did go Kindle-only for subscriptions, the newsroom staff would still be a cost. Unless, of course, they decide to send only advertising to the subscribers.
...which is why the newsroom costs were subtracted out of the calculation. I'm not saying all of their assumptions are right (they're clearly not), but they did go to the trouble of assuming that newsroom costs would not change if they went to e-delivery exclusively.
 

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Right but the critics point is that an unknown percentage of the cost of the printing is subscriber copies vs nonsubscriber copies which makes the comparison with the Kindle meaningless and therefore stupid journalism.

ie. if 20% of papers are sent to subscribers vs to individual copy buyers you can see that the article is misleading in its cost comparison. How much would it cost to send a Kindle to everyone who buys a copy of the NYT would be more accurate cost comparison
 

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It's still really odd. In the section on "How we did the math," the newsroom costs are based on "We hear" not a published figure. It also doesn't state they removed the newsroom costs. The way I read it was that a random figure of $200 million was subtracted.

I'm also wondering about the difference between the Q308 10-Q and  "a source with knowledge of the real numbers." None of it really adds up. Either use real figures, or don't bother with unsourced "we hears."

Sure, it's nice to do a speculative story about e-newspapers, but at least have it make some sense.
 

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The NY Times in my area costs $10.60 per week or $551.20 per year.  The Kindle version would cost us $167.88 per year.  For a net savings of $383.32.

Buy your own Kindle and save money after year one!

Or the NY Times could send you a free Kindle with a two year subscription as long as you paid the full subscription price of $551.20.
 

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Knipfty said:
The NY Times in my area costs $10.60 per week or $551.20 per year. The Kindle version would cost us $167.88 per year. For a net savings of $383.32.

Buy your own Kindle and save money after year one!

Or the NY Times could send you a free Kindle with a two year subscription as long as you paid the full subscription price of $551.20.
Or you can get on the internet for free and save $551.20 plus tip.
 

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Knipfty said:
The NY Times in my area costs $10.60 per week or $551.20 per year. The Kindle version would cost us $167.88 per year. For a net savings of $383.32.

Buy your own Kindle and save money after year one!

Or the NY Times could send you a free Kindle with a two year subscription as long as you paid the full subscription price of $551.20.
This is why I have an Aunt and Uncle thinking about getting a Kindle
 

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One of the reasons many people love the Kindle is because it is not back lit. If we prefer to read our books without back lighting and the headaches that come from back lighting, it makes sense the many would prefer to read their newspapers without back lighting. It comes as no surprise that people who like reading the newspaper want to be able to read them on their Kindle, no carrying the paper, no ink on hands, no back lighting, and it is cheaper then subscribing to the paper. All good.

I am annoyed that I cannot get the Economist on the Kindle. I have emailed them and asked to put the Economist on the Kindle (it is available for cell phones) but until they do, I am a subscriber with the paper edition. (sigh)
 
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