Afer studying long-term declines in newspaper circulation, Philip Meyer, the eminent professor of journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a few years ago calculated that the last American newspaper will be read in September 2043.
Using that type of math, Tig Tillinghast, editor of MarketingWonk.com, last year calculated that America Online will lose its last subscriber on August 17, 2013. But based upon AOL’s latest net losses of subscriptions, he yesterday recalculated that to 2:15 p.m. on January 14, 2014. Tillinghast remarked:
- At that point, it is supposed, the AOL advertising reps will begin returning the phone calls to the mid- and small-sized agencies.
John Battelle meanwhile is just sick of the whole thing:
- I’m tired of the prideful, ignorant, and painfully slow death over at AOL. How can you have the largest ISP/content site in the world, at a time when the entire sector is boooming, and manage to fuck it up so masterfully? The stink is starting to rise not from AOL, but from the folks really calling the shots, the top brass at Time Warner. And that means something must give, and soon. Time Warner is starting to realize, they can’t do any better with AOL than Case and Pittman could back in 2001.
It seems to me like the Time Warner execs, who clearly are still pissed that AOL bought them in the first place, are either killing it through supremely benign neglect, or are trapped in a morass of their own pride.
Battelle calls for Time Warner to swallow its pride and spinoff AOL.