The New York Times is making a massive gamble that consumers will be interested in reading a hard-copy version of its free online edition -- and willing to pay $2 a day for it.
That radical bet was confirmed today by the Times' publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who said he expected that the new version, a so-called "paper of news," would defy its critics and be a success.
"Look, we don't expect that this paper version of the Times will ever replace the free digital edition, which people know and love," Mr. Sulzberger said. "But we wanted to provide consumers with a way to read the news when their Internet connection goes out."
The Times is so convinced that their "paper of news" will eventually be profitable that they have borrowed millions of dollars from a Mexican billionaire and sold their Manhattan headquarters just to pay for it.
But the hard-copy version may face an uphill battle for acceptance with young consumers like Tracy Klugian, 19, an NYU sophomore who sampled it for the first time today.
"I kept running my mouse over it but it didn't refresh," he said.
Elsewhere, President Obama prepared to welcome Henry Louis Gates to the White House on Thursday, making sure that the front door wasn't jammed. More here.