Murdoch: Newspapers Must Charge For Online; Debt Is The Problem, Not Print

imageNews Corp (NYSE: NWS). chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch was looking very casual as he dropped in for an interview to discuss the future of newspapers on the company’s FOX Business Network. In addition to predicting that the public will begin to embrace newspapers on e-readers in the next two or three years, he said it will take about 10- to 15 years for papers to transition to fully digital products and for mass acceptance.

As for what’s ailing the newspaper business, Murdoch blamed companies for their indebtedness: “There have been a lot of newspaper deals done in the last 10 years in which people have taken on ridiculous debt. If you look at the Tribune Company, their big papers — the LA Times, Chicago Tribune — I bet you they’re still making money individually. But they can’t pay their interest bills. Bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of a newspaper. It just means that someone’s going to buy them from a bank.” That said, Murdoch believes that Chicago will eventually be a one daily newspaper town. See the full interview after the jump


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