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Media & Daily Newspaper Headlines
As usual, I have fallen behind on my posts and am resorting to the easy (and somewhat lazy) tactic of posting headlines that caught my eye over the past few weeks.
• As if print media didn’t have it tough enough these days, distributors are clamoring for a price increase to get magazines onto the newsstands. With the recent slate of titles that have been eliminated and many titles on the ropes for lack of advertisers, this battle couldn’t come at a worse time for either side.
• The Stanford Group is bullish on big media’s ability to weather the current storm. Too bad that the current economic typhoon pales in comparison to the tectonic shifts taking place in the industry. They might last through one, but both?
• Lee Enterprises gets a waiver on its debt covenants, allowing the beleaguered company to delay the inevitable.
• Meanwhile, Gannett’s problems continue to get worse with a Q4 revenue drop of over 22%
• And the seemingly intractable conundrum of growing web readership and declining overall revenue continues to confound.
• Luckily, Henry Blodget has a plan to save at least the New York Times. It appears to be as sound as anything I’ve seen, and far better than management’s lack of any clearly articulated plan and the gradual (or rapid depending on your perspective) decimation that will eventually crush the paper. The details can be debated ad nauseam, but Blodget’s basic premise is absolutely accurate, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand what is keeping newspaper companies from implementing something along those lines. The current issues were obvious at least as far back as 1993 (thanks Jim), and the solutions are just not that complicated. They may not be enough, and it may be too late, but a hail mary at this point cannot possibly hurt any more than throwing in the towel and taking the hit.