These sorts of comparisons always do depend on what it is that you decide to compare: Google certainly doesn’t employ more people than the US newspaper industry and it’s certainly worth much more in terms of corporate value. But a useful and sensible measure could be revenue and on that measure Google is now larger than the entire US newspaper industry:
This would mean that US newspapers are a $34bn (£21.6bn) industry. By contrast, Google alone recorded revenues of $37.9bn (£24.1bn) for 2011.
It’s not an entirely fair comparison, the newspapers’ revenue is almost entirely domestic (believe me, near no one outside the US reads US newspapers) and much of Google’s isn’t.
Back in the day, only two decades ago in fact, US newspapers had three sources of revenue. For someone like the New York Times, they were of roughly (do understand, roughly) equal value to the firm. There was subscription revenue, classified advertising and display advertising.
One doesn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Read the whole thing.