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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

September 8, 2008 / Toby Dayton

TechCrunch Hates Newspapers; Emerging Economies Love Newspapers; Gannet Loves CareerBuilder; Will the Federal Government Bail Out The Dailies Too?; Gaudy Name Not Enough To Save ItzBig

1) TechCrunch recently wrote about the worsening situation for daily newspapers and the abysmal 2nd quarter they have had.

2) The Economist reports that daily newspapers in emerging economies are thriving. As Thomas Barnett points out, the logic is that:

The demand for news tends to go up as people enter the workforce, earn more money, invest it and so begin to feel that they have more of a stake in their society. Literacy rates also rise in tandem with wealth. For the newly literate, flipping through a newspaper in public is a potent and satisfying symbol of achievement.

3) Gannett has acquired a majority stake in CareerBuilder by purchasing an additional 10% stake in the jobs classified company from Tribune. The $135 million that Gannett paid places a $1.3 billion valuation on the leading jobs classified company (I’d guess that the math and the actual valuation is probably more complicated than a simple x10, but it has to be pretty close). Gannett now owns 50.8%, with Tribune holding on to 30.8%, McClatchy 14.4%, and Microsoft 4%.

4) With the federal government stepping in to bail out Fannie and Freddie, legitimate questions are being raised about the new definitions of capitalism and a market economy. So, too, should questions about what other distressed industries might be next on the government’s list. The auto industry is surely on the list, but how about the daily newspapers? Maybe their salvation lies in being taken over and further mismanaged by the federal government…

5) ItzBig, an online candidate/job opening matching company, has officially shut its doors. The company was launched just over a year ago with much fanfare and instantly received a great deal of attention, even earning a spot on American Venture magazine’s list of 2008’s Most Promising Startups. Despite the gaudy name, however, ItzBig apparently wasn’t big enough.