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.
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.
For the past couple of years, The Washington Post Co has been trying to hammer home to Wall Street that it’s an education and media company, brushing aside its namesake newspaper or anything related to print. That includes Newsweek, the magazine it owned for almost 50 years. The Washington Post earlier this week offloaded the newsweekly to 91-year-old stereo magnate Sidney Harman founder of Harman International Industries.
How can mainstream news organizations retain (or regain) their audience’s trust in skeptical world where almost anyone with an Internet connection can be a publisher? That’s the topic a panel of industry experts will address tonight at the Thomson Reuters heaquarters in Times Square. We’ll be live blogging the event here from 7pm ET.
A Facebook friend of mine chastised me on Thursday after reading my story about salary reductions at The New York Times and buyouts at The Washington Post. He wanted to know why I hadn’t found anything positive to write about newspapers in a while.
As we reported earlier on Thursday:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two of the most respected U.S. newspaper publishers, The Washington Post Co and The New York Times Co, are embarking on new cost cuts in the face of dramatic declines in advertising revenue.
The Washington Post and The Sun in nearby Baltimore will share some of their journalism, at least the stuff that they don’t try to kill each other to get first as they compete across the hedgerows and parkways of suburban Maryland. Here are some details from the release, sent out on Tuesday:
Live Nation said on Tuesday it has signed a global ’360-degree’ deal with Canadian rock band Nickelback covering the band’s touring, recording and merchandising.