Skip to comments.For Sale -- Mostly Second-Rate Newspapers
Posted on 11/20/2005 2:53:55 PM PST by abb
On Nov. 1, Private Capital Management LP, a large shareholder in numerous newspaper companies, wrote to the management of Knight Ridder asking that the nation's second largest newspaper chain "aggressively pursue the competitive sale of the company." Two days later, two other large shareholders seconded the motion. Shortly thereafter, Knight Ridder announced that it had decided to "explore" alternatives, "including a possible sale of the company."
It is axiomatic on Wall Street that bear markets beget consolidation. The bear market in the newspaper industry should foretell a spate of mergers and acquisitions. But what if there are no buyers? This is the question that looms over Knight Ridder. Companies that might reasonably be expected to jump at the opportunity to acquire Knight Ridder, like Gannett and the New York Times, have expressed zero interest. New media companies -- Yahoo! and Google -- weren't even called for comment. In the end, it was left to a few Wall Street talking heads to announce interest, which they did by insisting that "big private equity firms" would be the likely buyers, if only to acquire the whole at a discount and then sell off the parts for a gain.
This lack of enthusiasm for a company once regarded as a money machine is evidence of how thoroughly the Internet has disrupted media business models. And with broadband now reaching into more than half of U.S. households, disruption has morphed into menace.
Knight Ridder has been publishing mostly second-rate newspapers for as long as anyone can remember. Its strategy has been straightforward: Leverage de facto monopoly newspaper status in individual cities into ownership of the classified advertising business in those communities. With high-speed broadband and wireless access now a fact for most Americans, consumers are no longer at the mercy of second-rate information providers.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The OSM (old stream media) is history (liberal print rags) and they know it.
Well FReepers..... put your money where your mouth is.
How much can we raise to buy Knight Ridder?
"ToM (Tired old Media)"
I LIKE it!
I can't take credit for that acronym. Backhoe coined it...
Not a bad idea bert. Switch all the liberal slant to conservative; buy it lock stock and barrel for 80 cents of book. If we could raise 10 % of the price, I could probably
broker/dealer the balance!
Well, somebody needs to buy it!
What will we do for fish wrap? And how will we line the bottoms of birdcages?
This could be tragic!!!!
You just can't trust what the m.s.m says. Add to that you are led by the nose by liberal anti bush anti American writers pushing the gay&lesbian,prochoice,antimilitary,crap.
So you just don't purchase the Times or Post or the local little town rag anymore.
CORRECTION: T.O.M. stands for "Trotskyite Old Media."
ToM is the right description of The Lexington Hearld-(mis)Leader, It isn't worth a Tinkers' D@mn.
It is a chain full of papers that richly deserve to die.
What shall we now do for something useless and eminently disposable to put under our cat-litter boxes, especially when we enjoy the heck out of doing it?
I really feel kinda guilty. I'm having too much fun watching the bas#ards die...
Sold my stock a while back. Looks like a total turkey. Might better invest in GM.
"What shall we now do for something useless and eminently disposable to put under our cat-litter boxes, especially when we enjoy the heck out of doing it?"
The NYT would be delighted to sell you a subscription to their rag for next to nothing. I live in California and keep getting ads from them to subscribe for pennies. They must be hard up. I keep sending them back their ads in their pre-paid envelopes saying I wouldn't have their tripe in my house if THEY paid ME.
We have a Gannett paper here in Monroe, La. We cancelled our subscription several years ago.
The money for the subscription will pay for about 1/2 of cable internet costs and we can read their two bit newspaper online for free.
How does this differ from Gannett's strategy?
It's the same. Gannett is just a little more intense with their advertising sales...
Come on Rupert. Buy these papers and turn them around like you did with the NY Post.
When I was a youngster ('70's), I was a paperboy, and I eagerly read the comics in the Morning Record and New Haven Register (afternoon). Sometimes I would even buy the best SUnday comics in the universe, the Sunday Boston Herald. As I got older, I started reading the editorials, sports, and news sections.
Now, I have my own children, and the comics section is not fit reading. Even family strips like "For Better or Worse" explore topics (shacking up and homosexuality) that I will not be exposing my children to, and certainly without their slant. The regular news section and especially the "lifestyle" type sections are not fit to have around children, either. I haven't subscribed to a newspaper in ten years (after having TWO separate subscriptions). The odds of any of my children subscribing to the local newspapers when full-grown is next to nil. I am sure I am not alone.
Yes, I know. Our "local" paper is owned by the NYT and runs the NYT articles on the front page.
Today's top-of-the-fold headline reads, Session Exposes GOP's Risks and goes on and on for many column-inches about what a disaster the Friday Night House vote was for the GOP and Bush and how the Dims are surging back. There is no real news, but plenty of DNC talking points are printed.
Worthless rag. I quit my subscription months ago but they still keep bugging me. Why pay for DNC talking points, columns by Paul Krugman, and endless Letters to the Editor on "Bush Lied" and "Dirty Administration Caught in Scandal" letters?
I dropped subscription to the local rag way back in the day of the Queer March on Washington when I got on my doorstep an entire thicker-than-normal edition devoted from page 1 to page last to the wonderfulness of being homosexual. This is a self proclaimed "Libertarian" newspaper that publishes almost all stock left opinion plus Walter Williams.
The stockholders at these creaky old papers need to raise hell. Newspapers are a tough enough sell in these days of illiteracy without the editorial staff making it even harder by embracing a worn-out, discredited ideology. Publishers need to hold their senior editors to account, and those editors need to reinstate the time-tested values of objectivity, detachment, and "news you can use" instead of "news that uses you."
No doubt some of the shareholders are doing just that. They're selling, as evidenced by the decline of the stock price.
And just think of the damage being done to the employee's 401k accounts.
I really feel sorry for them. Really, I do...
Nobody is willing to talk about the 2-ton elephant standing in the middle of the room: newspapers are failing because people don't want to read them. People don't want to read them because they are hostile to mainstream values. There is no perceived value in a news vehicle that lies or distorts the truth, and little moral validity in enriching someone who despises you.
Heck bert, who wants 'em? I'll throw in a shovel full of dirt after words are said over 'em. Like I've said before, this revoltin' development is breakin' my heart. Really.
Whistle while you work.... ;^)
I tell you what...you make this deal, and I'll gladly sign on as a writer with one of the papers in question. As a freelance writer I'd never be interested in waging the daily uphill battle of working for a lefty fishwrap, but helping to establish the new editorial party line...that I could handle.
Minus the comics and the crosswords, most papers would fail within 6 mo. They vastly overrate themselves in the propaganda dept. actually.
I am calling my guy at Merrill Lynch Capital tomorrow
and try to get a target price on this chain. If it was converted to conservative it could survive, minus some trimming.
Yes if they are left wing rags, but how many conservative papers have failed?
I weep for you the walrus said, I deeply sympathize.......................................
I do need some newsprint to light the charcoal in my little chimney lighter...
When I want to read fiction I buy a novel. Not a newspaper.
If there's no other bids on the table, we can low ball...
Stopped service to both local papers last yr and don't miss it a bit. I can even get the death notices on the internet for my area (that;s all I looked at anyhow,lol)
These folks at Knight Ridder are smart to want to bail while they still may get some value. The question is, who's the sucker who will BUY?? (Caveat: Possibly Murdoch or somebody like him can come along and get rid of all the liberal deadwood in the newsrooms and editorial boards and actually boost circulation.)
That's what I tell the Arizona Republic every time they call asking me to try their paper. I just say "Why should I buy the paper when I can get the DNC talking points directly from their website for free?"
No, what actually needs to happen is to have a lot of little local people buy up the local papers and turn them into local news with a small section on national and world politics that is meticulously unbiased.
An excellent question that deserves some serious treatment IMO. To begin with, I don't know of a major metro area that still has a "conservative" paper. If memory serves(and it may not), up until the late 70's - early 80's, most major metro areas still had at least two competing dailies; each with their own "slant". The conservative leaning dailies still around then either began to fail or were acquired(not sure which) by and consolidated into the liberal rag.
Now, how and why this came about I haven't a clue. There are any number of reasons, or combination or reasons, why this could have happened; none of which I've ever seen discussed in any serious format. The reasons can run from mundane to tinfoil hat stuff, but the bottom line is the leftist media apparently outperformed(by hook or crook) conservative media. It might be instructive to get to the bottom of it, eh?
Many skyscrapers lease out the sign rights to anyone who wants to pay the price. Knight-Ridder may have rented it to prop up their image but might not have had any office space in the building.
Or Murdoch and a few partners. This could get quite interesting.
The comics are lame, lame, lame. I used to love reading the comics. I was in the doctor's office and ended up reading a newspaper, and the stuff was awful. They used to be funny.
Why would we want to buy second rate fishwraps which no one wants to buy?
"Knight Ridder has been publishing mostly second-rate newspapers for as long as anyone can remember. Its strategy has been straightforward: Leverage de facto monopoly newspaper status in individual cities into ownership of the classified advertising business in those communities. With high-speed broadband and wireless access now a fact for most Americans, consumers are no longer at the mercy of second-rate information providers."
Yes, very instructive. Things have changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Conservative radio, led by Rush took over talk radio. Fox News has CNN possibly on the verge of bankruptcy. This could be one of the most interesting plays in media history.
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