TMZ founder Harvey Levin tells mainstream media to adapt or die

Harey Levin doesn’t really break new ground here, but, in a weird way, his voice may be heard more in mainstream media circles than the voices of news underlinings who have been shouting to their senior managers to innovate:

Local and national newscasts, he says, have presented information the same way for decades, with anchors handing off to reporters and reporters handing it right back to anchors. “It can be done better and quicker,” he suggested, mentioning as a model TMZ TV’s casual, conversational and often amusing presentation in its bullpen-style newsroom.

As for you, dear print reader, Levin says, it’s off to the scrap heap. “What is the magic of holding a piece of paper in the air when you read?” he asked. “You [in the news media] think you have to preserve this? Why?”

I enjoy lounging around with a newspaper and magazine as much as the next person, but that’s when I have a lot of free time. For most of my news consumption, print and TV are just too slow, too outdated.

I don’t believe print news organizations can survive unless they make the Web, mobile and other digital offerings the main event. Yes, you can still have a print product because there is still a market for that, but that’s no longer your main product. The Washington Post, where this story comes from, can claim it is Web-first all it wants, but it’s not really. It’s still a newspaper.

The Post and its ilk need to become news organizations if they want to be strong 20 years from now.