Bruce Headlam

  • Aired:  06/23/11
  •  | Views: 44,480

Bruce Headlam discusses his reluctance to do "Page One" and explains why online advertising isn't lucrative for the New York Times. (6:30)

WITHIN WELCOME BACK, MY

GUEST THE MEDIA DIX EDITOR

FOR "THE NEW YORK TIMES" AND

FEATURED IN THE DOCUMENTARY

FILM ABOUT THE TIMES CALLED

"PAGE 1"

>> I'M GOING TO IRAQ.

>> HE'S DONE ALL THESE

STORIES ON MEDIA COMPANIES

AND CAPITOL CASES, DEATH ROW

AND TIM IS JUST ONE OF THE

GUYS WHO WANTS ANSWERS TO

REALLY BASIC QUESTIONS.

I THINK ONCE YOU'VE GOT THAT,

YOU'RE CURIOUS ABOUT ALL

KINDS OF THINGS.

IRAQ IS KIND OF OFF PEOPLE'S

RADAR SCREENS HERE BUT WE

STILL HAVE 120,000 SOLDIERS

THERE.

AND IT'S A REAL CRUCIAL

POINT IN TERMS OF SEEING

WHAT THE LAST CHAPTER IS FOR

OUR COUNTRY THERE.

>> PLEASE WELCOME BRUISE

HEADLAM.

-- BRUCE HEADLAMB.

THANK YOU.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

(APPLAUSE)

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: I WANT TO SAY WE HAD

SCHEDULED TO INTERVIEW THE

DIRECTOR.

>> YES.

>> Jon: WHO PUT THE FILM

TOGETHER.

BUT UNFORTUNATELY HE WAS A

LITTLE UNDER THE WEATHER AND

COULDN'T MAKE IT.

SO HE MADE YOU DO IT.

>> YES.

AND WHEN YOU MENTIONED THE

TIMES REVIEW I THINK HE FLAT

LINED AT THE HOSPITAL.

HE MAY BE GONE NOW.

>> Jon: LET ME JUST ASK YOU

OBVIOUSLY THE QUESTIONS I

WAS GOING TO ASK HIM.

WHEN YOU WERE PUTTING THIS

MOVIE TOGETHER, WERE THEY

NERVOUS AT THE TIMES TO

ALLOW A FILMMAKER TO COME IN

AND DOCUMENT THEIR PROCESS.

WAS THERE ANY SORT OF

INTERNAL DISCUSSION.

>> THERE WAS BECAUSE THE

CREW THAT HAD BEEN FROM THE

DAILY SHOW.

>> AND THAT HAD NOT GONE

NEARLY SO WELL.

THEY WERE SURPRISINGLY NOT

NERVOUS.

I WAS NERVOUS.

I DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT BUT

IT WAS PRESENTED TO BE BY

BILL KELLER MY BOSS, I SAID

ENOUGH OF MY REPORTERS

WANTED TO DO IT I WOULD GO

ALONG WITH IT.

BUT I WASN'T IN FAVOR OF IT.

>> Jon: IT SORT OF A

DEMOCRACY AT THE TIMES.

>> YES, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT

IT WAS.

>> Jon: VERY EXCITING.

>> YES.

>> Jon: LIKE A VELVET

REVOLUTION OVER THERE.

THAT'S EXCITING.

>> YEAH, YOU SAW THE PAGE 1

SCENE, TO SEE HOW DEMOCRATIC

THEY ARE.

>> Jon: EXACTLY RIGHT.

YOU LIVE LIKE ANTS IN YOUR

CUBICLES.

DOES THE TIMES, IS THE FEAR

THERE THAT YOU KNOW, THE

DOCUMENTARY IS SORT OF

CAPTURING THIS OBSOLETE TIME

IN AMERICA, IT'S LIKE WE'LL

LOOK BACK YEARS FROM NOW AND

BE LIKE THE OLD HORSES USED

TO PULL ALL THE WAGONS AND

THEN THE AUTOMOBILE CAME BY.

>> I DON'T THINK THE TIMES

LOOKS AT ITSELF THAT WAY.

I DON'T THINK THE FILM GETS

THAT PARTICULARLY.

YOU KNOW, I WAS SKEPTICAL

BECAUSE I THOUGHT WELL, WE

COVER THE MEDIA.

WE'RE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT

PART OF THE TIMES.

NOBODY IS SHOOTING AT US.

WE COVER FOX NEWS.

WHICH IS-- BY THE WAY, THEY

LOVE YOU GUYS.

I WAS OVER THERE ON SUNDAY.

>> WE DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE TO

DRIVE THROUGH CHECK POINTS

TO GET TO FOX NEWS.

>> BUT YOU KNOW, I THINK THE

TIMES FELT THERE WAS A STORY

TO TELL.

NOW THE MINUTE ANDREW

STARTED FILMING WIKI LEAKS

HAPPENED.

WE HAD LAYOFFS.

OUR STOCK PLUMMETED.

MANY PEOPLE WERE PREDICTING

OUR DEMISE.

MANY PEOPLE WERE CHEERING

OUR DEMISE.

SO PROBABLY SIX MONTHS LATER

I'M NOT SURE I WOULD HAVE

WELCOMED ANDREW QUITE THE

WAY WE DID AT THAT POINT.

BUT HE MANAGED TO CAPTURE A

LOT OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING

THAT YEAR AND A LOT OF THE

DRAMA.

>> THE WIKI LEAKS STUFF IS

THE MOST FASCINATING BECAUSE

IT REPRESENTED THAT, YOU

KNOW, THEY HAVE BRIAN IN

THERE WHO IS YOUNGER.

AND SO HE I THINK MAYBE HAS

A LITTLE MORE INSIGHT INTO

THE SCENES WHERE HE IS SORT

OF INTERACTING WITH SOME OF

THE OLDER, YOU KNOW, NO

DISRESPECT.

>> NO DISRESPECT.

>> BUT IT JUST WAS KIND OF --

>> SLOWER, WEAKER.

>> Jon: IT WAS LIKE WAIT,

YOU DON'T REIT TWITTER THAT

IS KIND OF WHERE IT IS

HAPPENING.

LIKE HE HAS THERE IS A SENSE

THAT HE WAS URGING EVERYBODY

TO EMBRACE SOMETHING THAT

THERE WAS SOME RESISTENCE

TOO.

>> AND BRIAN URGES ALL OF US

TO EMBRACE TWITTER.

I ENCOURAGE BRIAN TO SEND

#úQ!AT DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE

TAKEN HOLD YET.

NO, I THINK HE'S A GOOD

EXAMPLE, DAVID CARR WITHOUT

AS MANY PEOPLE MIGHT KNOW IS

ANOTHER GOOD EXAMPLE.

IT'S REALLY A PLACE IN

TRANSITION.

AND I DON'T WANT THE FILM TO

BE SEEN AS A KIND OF OLD,

GRUMPY, NEWSPAPER HERE AND

HERE ARE THE COOL KIDS OVER

HERE.

IT'S MUCH MORE FLUID.

THE TIMES WEB SITE IS A

MASSIVE WEB SITE.

ON TWIRT, ON FACEBOOK, THEY

DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

>> Jon: IT STILL FEELS LIKE

CONTENT IS ALWAYS KING.

IF YOU ESTABLISH, YOU KNOW,

MAYBE THE TIMES EDITORIAL

AUTHORITY IS NOT WHAT IT WAS

BUT IF YOU ESTABLISH THE

IDEA OF TRUSTED CONTENT,

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE

WHERE IT IS DISTRIBUTED.

>> WELL, THE ONE DIFFERENCE

IT MAKES IS THAT WE MAKE A

LOT MORE MONEY IN A

NEWSPAPER THAN WE DO

ON-LINE.

AND THAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE

HUGE STRUGGLES WHICH IS THE

FINANCIAL UNDERPINNINGS OF

OUR BUSINESS.

>> Jon: WHY IS THAT.

BECAUSE YOU LOOK AT SOME OF

THESE OTHER SITES THAT ARE

ON-LINE THAT YOU CAN'T EVEN

FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY DO.

AND THEY'RE SELLING FOR $10

BILLION AT IPOs.

IT'S JUST LIKE AN ON-LINE

SITE, EVERYBODY, LET'S GET

TOGETHER AND WE'LL ALL GET A

DISCOUNT ON A MASSAGE.

AND THAT IPO GOES FOR, YOU

KNOW, WHY ISN'T ON-LINE

ADVERTISING, BECAUSE THAT IS

WHERE THEY ARE ALL ARE.

>> BECAUSE ONE REASON IS YOU

KNOW WE'RE IN BAGHDAD.

AND THAT COSTS A LOT OF

MONEY.

THE COST BEHIND THOSE SITES

IS NOT THAT GREAT.

>> RIGHT.

>> IF THEY ARE OFFERING

MASSAGES IN BAGHDAD IT WOULD

BE A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY.

THEN WE WOULD BE ON EQUAL

GROUND.

>> Jon: I THINK I MEANT LIKE

WHY DOESN'T ADVERTISING, WHY

ISN'T THE RATE MORE

COMMENSURATE WITH THE WAY

THAT TECHNOLOGY IS --

>> BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH

OF IT.

WITH "THE NEW YORK TIMES"

THERE'S SCARCITY, TIFFANIES

HAS BEEN ON PAGE THREE FOR

GOD KNOWS, A SENT REE.

YOU KNOW THERE ARE MANY WEB

SITES, MANY LOW COST WAYS TO

REACH TEAM.

-- PEOPLE.

THE ON-LINE ADVERTISING IS

NOT AS LUCRATIVE RIGHT NOW

AS ADVERTISING IN THE PAPER.

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK THE

TIMES WILL BE ABLE TO BE AS

AGILE, CONTINUE TO DO THE

TYPE OF REPORTING.

BECAUSE A LOT OF THE SITES,

STILL RELY ON TIMES

REPORTING.

IT'S NOT LIKE THE TIMES

REPORTING IS NOT OUT THERE

AND DISSEMINATED EVERYWHERE.

A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST GO

THAT'S REALLY GOOD.

>> THE TIMES IS THE GREAT

STRAIGHT LINE OF AMERICA.

EVERYBODY ELSE GETS TO TELL

THE JOKES OFF WHAT WE DO.

>> Jon: WHAT?

(LAUGHTER)

WELL, WELL, WELL.

>> WELL.

IT'S COME TO THIS.

>> Jon: SO WE MEET AT LAST.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: WELL, REALLY

INTERESTING LOOK AT IT.

I'M GLAD THAT YOU GUYS DID

IT.

>> I'M GLAD WE DID TOO.

>> Jon: AND LET A REAL

FILMMAKER DO IT RATHER THAN

JUST COMEDIANS RIDICULING

YOU FOR FOUR MINUTES.

THANK YOU FOR COMING IN AND

TAKING THE DIRECTOR'S PLACE.

REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANKS SO MUCH.

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