'New York Times' may not be printed in five years

"New York Times" publisher Arthur Sulzberger said his newspaper publication is quickly migrating to the Internet and may not be printed on paper in five years.

Sulzberger made his comments during an interview with "Haaretz," a Tel Aviv-based newspaper and Web site, at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Given the constant erosion of the printed press, Sulzberger was asked whether he sees the "New York Times" still being printed in five years.

The "Times," "Haaretz" reported, has doubled its online readership to 1.5 million a day to go along with its 1.1 million subscribers for the print edition.

Sulzberger said the "New York Times" is on a journey that will conclude the day the company decides to stop printing the paper. That will mark the end of the transition.

When asked how the newspaper is preparing for the changes, he said the company has five people working in a special development unit to initiate and develop things related to the electronic world, including the Internet and cellular phones.

The average age of readers of the "New York Times" print edition is 42, Sulzberger said, and that hasn't changed in 10 years. The average age of readers of its Internet edition is 37, which shows that the group is also managing to recruit young readers for both the printed version and Web site.

Also, the "Times" has signed a deal with Microsoft to distribute the paper through a software program called "Times Reader," Sulzberger noted. The software enables users to conveniently read the paper on screens, mainly laptops. "I very much believe that the experience of reading a paper can be transferred to these new devices," he said.

Sulzberger said it would not be free service. To read the "New York Times" online, subscribers would be required to pay.