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No shame in being compared to an undertaker, says newspaper executive

The debate about the death of printed newspapers was given a somewhat new slant this week with the candid comments of the newly appointed managing director of Norway's biggest newspaper.

During the Nordic Media Days in Bergen, one panelist said Torry Pedersen, editor-in-chief of Schibsted-owned VG.no, the most-read newspaper and news site in Norway, had now become a funeral agent in his new additional capacity as managing director of VG's print edition. Pedersen, though, was not affronted by the comment:

"This is probably not such a bad thing because funeral agencies have the best business model there is; they never become redundant. If we get to a stage where we cannot become redundant, we have done a good job," said Pedersen, adding that since he had now become an old man, the job of keeping VG's ageing print readers reading the paper was well suited for him.

Pedersen will serve as both editor-in-chief of VG.no, a news site with a staggering profit margin of 42 - 45 per cent for the last three years, and managing director the VG the printed tabloid, which, in the same period, has seen much more modest profits combined with rapidly declining circulation figures, until a replacement is found for him at VG.no

The comment fell a day before Schibsted presented record digital revenues

Torry Pedersen (left), not at all unhappy to be
called a funeral agent (my picture)


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