John Byrne stepped down as the head of BusinessWeek’s online operations just a week ago, and he’s already talking about his next venture on his blog.
It takes dead aim at old media companies like BusinessWeek:
Byrne: For the past five years, we’ve been witnessing nothing less than a sea change in the media business. The media monopolists are dying. More nimble, low-cost models on the web are quickly replacing them. Readers are increasingly abandoning print and moving to digital—on the little screen of your mobile device, the bigger screen on your laptop, and the biggest screen in your home. There’s nothing in the short-term future that will slow this trend down. If anything, analogue media brands have only begun to feel the pain. What’s next will be truly devastating and those changes spell unprecedented opportunity for new media entrepreneurs.
Why are you starting your own company?
I passionately believe that the future of media is digital and that newcomers have tremendous advantages over incumbents. Most of traditional media remains in a complete meltdown, dragged down by high costs, old ways of thinking, and legacy work processes. As tough as the past three years have been for traditional media, the next three are going to be nothing less than brutal: more closures, greater losses, increasing layoffs of highly talented journalists and editors.
That’s also why we’re going to see a media boom in the next three years, the launch of tens of thousands of new media entrepreneurs on the Internet. Many of them will fail, but many more will flourish and replace the brands our fathers and grandfathers grew up with. The success of Huffington Post, Politico, Drudge, GigaOm, TechCrunch, and other media enterprises on the web have shown us a path forward. But it’s still very early days and the new followers are going to have lots of advantages over the first movers. I’m thrilled and excited to be part of this revolution.
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