Sign of the Times as BBC boss moves to NY

In a sign of the times, The New York Times has just announced the appointment of former BBC boss Mark Thompson as its new chief executive. With Kim Williams now heading News Limited in Australia, there’s two examples of new media broadcasters appointed to run old media print companies.

The message is, the old print business model is dead. Experience with broadcasting, multi-media, multi-platform interaction, and subscription media is the criteria for someone to run a newspaper these days. And while they’re at it, why not change that old fashioned name. ‘News business’ is better than ‘newspaper business.’

Australian Radio reinvented itself decades ago to become more responsive, more lean and ready for the social media revolution. It came through the hard times of structural change and built a new business model.

Recent moves by dmg in partnering with Rdio, Austereo’s adventures in interactive gaming and ARN’s moves into online retail are all examples of media companies thinking to the future, not stuck in the past. Newspapers are struggling with this, but with broadcasters at the helm of more and more of those companies, they are likely to have a better chance of reinventing themselves.

And what of the BBC. Who will fill the CEO job there? Despite denials by the ABC’s Mark Scott, radioinfo keeps hearing his name pop us as a potential replacement.