Everyone (especially in media) has an opinion regarding the future of newspapers. Chicago Tribune chairman Sam Zell shared his pretty unique perspective on the subject on CNBC Thursday morning: PDFs are the future.
Yes, that's right, PDFs.
Zell, who was once the Tribune Company's CEO, spoke on CNBC about real estate and investment opportunities before he was asked what he thinks will happen to newspapers. (Scroll down for video of the interview.)
"I think the newspapers have historically suffered from being monopolies, and therefore not really being challenged," Zell said. "Just like AT&T didn't survive, many newspapers didn't survive or aren't surviving the post-monopoly period. But going forward, it's gonna require all kinds of different approaches, including, probably most significant is the elimination of home delivery--and the replacement with PDFs."
Zell was speaking of PDF versions of newspapers, as MediaFile points out:
Zell is pretty sweet on the idea that home delivery will just go away something the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News semi-embraced more than a year ago. Instead newspaper subscribers will be able to get electronic versions of the newspapers.
Zell was also pretty excited about the iPad.
"The iPad is the real example of almost replicating a newspaper on an instrument," Zell said. "I think that is only the beginning of how that is all going to evolve."
WATCH the interview with Zell here. (Media talk starts around the 2 minute mark)