On NYC being a hotbed for digital journalism:
"If you wanted to be a pop musician in 1963, you probably went to Liverpool," Bell told me in a leaving interview. "If you're in digital journalism at the moment, the east coast is a really exciting place to be - it's where a lot of the conversation and action is taking place."
On the future of web and mobile ads:
"I sat in rooms in 2002/03, when we were having exactly the same debate about digital - online ads being dead, full stop. None of us anticipated Google (NSDQ: GOOG) correctly or the growth in digital display, but now there's a much more sophisticated display ad market. Advertisers are still going to pay for an audience. Immediate evidence suggests the ad model will prove to be more robust than people have said."
"The free model has worked for us. The apps market has worked quite well. The conference model has worked quite well." Will the paid mobile app switch to recurring subscriptions? "It's far too early to say. We look at all of these things all of the time. It would be wrong to say we definitely will do that and that we have a solid plan to do that because we don't. But this is an emerging market and we've got to look at what our opportunities are."
The apps market is indeed intriguing...