To the Editor:
I want to respond to David Sedgwick's column ("Will Holt nuke newspapers?" March 27) about Cobalt CEO John Holt.
Sedgwick contends that Holt will eliminate the need for car ads in newspapers because he will show dealers how to use Internet search engines like Google or Yahoo! to attract customers.
But Holt won't nuke newspapers.
The newspapers did it all by themselves.
They have made it difficult for readers to find and browse their complete content online.
They ignored the possibilities of the Internet when it was small and arrived too late to the party when it grew powerful.
Newspapers failed to keep up with online classified entrepreneurs that took over the jobs listings, then real estate listings and now auto classifieds.
Having said that, I think newspapers will continue to exist.
It's easy to read a newspaper while traveling and in the comfort of home. It's easier than a laptop.
But the business model of charging car dealers $10,000 for a full-page ad is dead.
That means newspapers will shrink. They'll have to re-invent themselves as multimodal media models, with online and off-line advertising/subscriptions.
I have had an online subscription to The Wall Street Journal for over five years. I haven't gotten the printed version in all that time.