In a moment of dubious etiquette, venture capitalist and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen said at a New York Times conference this week that the company should dismantle its print operations not in ten years, or five, but “as soon as possible.” Cue print lovers’ outrage.
For a handful of years now, several newspaper companies have attempted to re-brand themselves into something — anything! — that doesn’t associate them with newspapers. Gannett is one of the latest examples trying to put some distance between itself and the industry despite the fact that it is still the largest newspaper chain by circulation in the U.S., it still derives the heft of its revenue from ink on paper, and it still is a bellwether for other companies that count big iron as an asset.
from Paul Smalera:
Over the last few years, thanks to the global economic crisis – encapsulating everything from the 2008 housing crash to today’s ongoing euro zone sovereign-debt debacle – much ink has been spilled about the reshaping of the world’s economy, especially about the domestic job market.
Just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse for newspapers, it somehow manages to get even bleaker. Today’s example is provided by the Washington Post Co and its flagship paper (and the online site Slate). The company reported third quarter earnings including results from its newspaper division today.
Another one of the New York Times Co’s newspaper properties is preparing to officially roll out a pay model for its website. The Boston Globe launched bostonglobe.com and starting Oct. 1 it will charge $3.99 per week for a digital-only subscription (print subscribers can read the site for free). Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage New England is sponsoring a free trial subscription through Sept. 30. Unlike its sister site NYTimes.com, a subscription for bostonglobe.com is required to access all content.
By David Callahan
The views expressed are his own.
The demise of the News of the World after a phone hacking scandal will not change a troubling truth about tabloid journalism – or business in general these days: Bad ethics can yield big financial rewards and such are the upsides of cheating that even honest professionals may feel they must bend the rules to compete.
Warren Buffett has always had a sweet spot in his heart for newspapers. Until he didn’t. In recent years, Buffet — once a paper boy, now a newspaper owner — has been quite vocal about the prospects of the industry. For instance in 2009 during a Berkshire Hathaway gathering in Omaha he told investors that the newspaper industry had the possibility of “unending losses” and that Berkshire would not buy most newspapers in the U.S. at any price.