Google Drops Plans to Save Struggling Papers

CEO says company won't cross the line into creating content
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 3:03 AM CDT
"We are very interested in trying to develop online news versions that somehow address the immediate needs of people and for which advertising works better," Schmidt said.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
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(Newser) – Google has decided against  throwing struggling newspapers a lifeline through acquisition or by using its charitable arm to help them gain non-profit status, CEO Eric Schmidt tells the Financial Times. Schmidt said the company considered the idea, but decided that Google didn't want to cross the line between technology and content, and that potential acquisitions proved to be either too expensive or had too many liabilities.

Schmidt—cooling speculation that  the firm will step in to aid the New York Times—said the foundation would be unlikely to get involved in any non-profit deals for newspapers without a "massive, massive set of corporate bankruptcies." The way forward for newspaper franchises is through improving their online efforts, and Google is working with the Washington Post and others to help them build better platforms for advertising, Schmidt said.