Rupert Murdoch has finally opened up. The 83-year-old media mogul sat down with Fortune and discussed his divorce from Wendi Deng; how he convinced Lachlan Murdoch to come back to News Corp. (“It was a question of how we would work together”); Hillary Clinton as the next President (“We have to live with who we get”); and more. But the section that stood out to us was Murdoch saying the New York Post is on its way to becoming an all digital publication.
Murdoch was asked why he kept the Post going, but he didn’t really answer at first. Instead he simply confirmed that yes, the paper had lost about $40 million in 2012. Then, after being prodded again, Murdoch replied, ”We’re looking at various plans for the Post. We are working very hard on the digital edition.”
Fortune then asked if this meant the paper would cease printing in five years, to which Murdoch answered, “I would be surprised. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I would think it might be quite likely in 10 years.” Murdoch also said that he believed the Wall Street Journal would be digital only in 20 years.
Of course we shouldn’t be surprised by this. Newspapers are expensive to operate and we’re becoming a digital first society. It makes sense that one day they’ll disappear. But still, it’s sort of odd to hear Murdoch — a man who loves print — admit that the end is near. And it’s even weirder to imagine a world without the iconic Post front page, or people reading the Journal during their morning commutes.