“There’s no question they managed this transition earlier than a lot of newspaper companies, and they’re in a better position as a result.”
Besides investing aggressively in online for a decade, the publisher brought in non-newspaper managers from a business consulting firm who were willing to sacrifice sacred cows if that was necessary. Said one:
“The main thing they have done is to recognize that the consumer is king.”
Of course there are special circumstances in Norway. Schibsted dominates the online market and includes a successful classified site in its arsenal. And Norway has the highest newspaper readership in the world, so readers trusted the brand when it went online.
The Harvard professor, Bharat N. Anand, wonders: Can this success be exported?
“The big question is, ‘Is this a repeatable success, or is it a very good 10-year run?’ And how far can it travel outside Scandinavia?”