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Monday, December 08, 2008

MediaWatch – Blood in the Water

The Tribune Company, a newspaper publisher and broadcaster is considering filing for bankruptcy. The irony is that this company is owned by Sam Zell, a billionaire. Apparently being the good businessman that he is, Sam decided not to throw good money after bad and bailout his own media outlet. Congress? Hello? Is this thing on?

According to this Bloomberg article,

"The economic crisis is hurting newspaper publishers across the U.S. as advertising dries up and companies struggle to pay down debt with shrinking cash flow. To reduce costs, Tribune's Los Angeles Times eliminated another 75 newsroom positions in October, or about 10 percent of the editorial staff. The company has also cut jobs at its other publications.

The drop in Tribune's newspaper ad sales accelerated to 19 percent in the three months through September, steeper than the 15 percent slides in the first and second quarters. Overall publishing revenue declined 13 percent to $653.6 million, while broadcast and entertainment fell 5.6 percent to $383.4 million.

"The newspaper industry continues to see extraordinary declines in ad revenues, and Tribune is no exception," Zell, 67, the company's chief executive officer, said in a Nov. 10 statement when Tribune reported third-quarter results."

I call BS on Sam's reasoning, and say that it is not the economic crisis that is hurting the industry. I think it's a few other things, like Conservatives are the heartbeat of America, and we run the majority of businesses. Why would we advertise in liberal rags?

Next, the fact is that these newspapers are no longer reporting news. They are so heavily biased, that to say you get news is really a stretch. When you lose your Conservative readership, you lose your paying audience. Liberals are the people who pick up the paper after a Conservative has finished reading it, and the people who order water for their "two drink minimum".

I must say that I am actually enjoying the demise of the media, given their atrocious behavior in helping elect our new Kenyan leader, and their treatment of Conservatives in general. And the fact that their demise is not limited to the Tribune, but also to other venerable liberal strongholds, like the NY Times just makes me giggle like a gigolo with a full workload.

S&P slashes NY Times rating to junk after gloomy outlook

By Andrew EdgecliffeJohnson in New York

Standard & Poor's slashed its rating on the New York Times Company by three notches to junk yesterday after the publisher reported fresh impairment charges, a quarterly underlying loss and a review of its dividend policy.

The decline in print advertising revenues that has dogged US newspapers accelerated in the third quarter as the economy worsened, said Janet Robinson, chief executive. Visibility about future advertising bookings was "limited", she added.

Considering the NYT's recent downgrade to "junk" status, perhaps venerable was too strong a word to describe them? And to think that I called the NY Time "junk" because of editorial content, when in fact it really is junk! I can't wait until next quarter to see the rating below "junk".

So we have one major media outlet considering bankruptcy, and one exposed as "junk", what could possibly be next? Since you asked…

Here it is. The Miami Herald, the #3 newspaper chain in the country can't even find anyone who wants to take her to the prom. Apparently she's picked up a few pounds, called debt?

"Citing people briefed on the company's plans, the Times said the nation's number-three newspaper chain, struggling with debt and a downturn in advertising, wants to sell the newspaper. Its sources were not aware of any serious offers."

Don't be surprised if the Liberal Triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi and Reid step in to bailout the media. After all it is Christmas, so why not put another gift the taxpayers don't want under the Christmas tree.

But seriously, don't be surprised when you hear the Fed giving serious consideration to socializing the media, and offering a bailout. What would happen if the Liberals didn't have the bully pulpit from which to practice their tyranny?

That's my rant!

© 2008 Kevin Jackson – The Black Sphere All Rights Reserved



Alexander Schmitt said...

I live in Miami and can tell you few of us actually read the "paper". In my opinion the news paper is a dying media conduit. The business has a high TCO and low margins. When you consider the paper, equipment, maintenance, delivery and slew of other associated costs. Forget it!

The Black Sphere said...

And thankfully so, Alexander. They have become little more than liberal media outlets. Thank God for the revolution of the internet!

Rich said...

Fortunately, Sam Zell bought me out of the The Tribune Company before it got as bad as it is today.

When I was a modest shareholder, I would often wonder why the Tribune of all papers wasn't making more a presence online like The New York Times, WSJ, etc.

Zell thinks like the businessman, which is exactly why he won't throw more money into what's become a sink hole. Nice piece.

Worth following up on.


Biased Girl said...

Another great Rant! Newspapers are dying because they've followed a business model Liberals would love...As they lost readers to a more "instant medium" of cable news and the internet, they raised the price of advertising.

Pacaderm said...

What will all the poor birds do? Or is that "doo"?

The Black Sphere said...

Pacaderm, nice touch!

BiasedGirl, thanks for the props, and excellent point on what a great Liberal business, the newspaper biz!

Rich, thanks for the comment and validation.

Anonymous said...

We get the Washington Post and it is a terrible paper. We have canceled it twice and they just keep dumping it at our driveway. we have not paid them a dime. We put it in the recycle bin straight form the driveway most days.
Today Barb Steisand is on the front, gosh I dislike her so much.
the wash Post is a terrible paper, poorly written stories, and very biased. It is disgusting and some days almost as infuriating as listening to MSNBC... which I do not do either, ha.


I have been reading just not commenting lately, I have been kinda sickish, yay. not.

Anonymous said...

I equate most newspapers today as nothing more then pamphleteers of the early days of this country. It seems they are simply in place to help spread the liberal agenda and destroy or mock anyone with conservative values.

They are out of touch with the mainstream. Their sales reflect this. If they had a product worth buying, more people would.

The Black Sphere said...

Rosemary, I've missed you, and feel better! I agree with your take on the Washington Post. Suggestion: toilet paper!

Roihunters: Agree, they can sell what people aren't buying! I congratulate them all for their failures...a tribute to Liberalism in business!

Anonymous said...

Just say No! to liberal rags!!!

and I'm not sure I'd even want to Wipe my tail with the Washington Post!!!

maddmath said...

Yea, I stopped reading the papers years ago. Why pay 50 cents just to be insulted. I can get that free from liberals on the streets.

Frankly, I wouldn't trust a newspaper to be worthly of toilet paper. God only knows what they're putting in the paper to cut on costs.

Final thought, and it's scary. What if the government bails out the newspapers? They need their pulpit to preach from, but if they have ownership in the news media, what's to keep it from becoming Pravda?

Bob Sorensen said...

Maybe — just perhaps — you'll write something that I take issue with. Not bloody likely, though.

The Black Sphere said...

Stormbringer, get me out of your head! You know we have "mind-melded" my friend. My rants are your rants!

Anonymous said...

GlobalRoamer on 12/08/2008

There is a great book out; "The Gospel According to the New York Times." It is a great book about how the Times changed from reporting news to trying to shape social agenda. It is all fact based, uses a lot of Lexus-Nexus statistics to show how they fail to report balanced news, works to press for social change like live birth abortion, homosexuals, and liberal democrats.

I am not surprised this is happening. Perhaps the liberal socialists might think of it as natural selection.

Anonymous said...

mmaine on 12/08/2008

FTA "the fact is that these newspapers are no longer reporting news. They are so heavily biased, that to say you get news is really a stretch."

I agree with you 100%

Anonymous said...

EMFK on 12/08/2008

When we were little, reading the paper was fun! On the weekends, before breakfast everyone read some section of the paper. It was a family activity for many Americans and their families. It helped create family topics and conversations throughout the day sometimes. However, as we got older---it started becoming apparent that something was amiss. As you grow older, you begin to formulate your own political ideas and beliefs and then you realize that what you believe doesn't mesh with the paper your reading from.

This was true for those of us growing up watching Dan Rather. Always thought he was fantastic, but it had more to do with our grandparents and parents watching him on a nightly basis. He was someone you thought you could trust with your news.

Again, as we grew older we began noticing that he was skewering the line of 'reporting the news' and giving his opinions of the news.

There are many columnists that we grew up reading and loved. If the world needs one thing, it is for more Erma Bombeck's of this world. Her columns were fantastic and provided an insight into life's more amusing everyday adventures. The rest of the columns and columnists---we won't miss as much. Sad.

Anonymous said...

MongerOfHate on 12/08/2008

Famous last words from Dan Rather:

"The story is true."

Soon the publishers of the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times will be saying "I'm sorry."

Anonymous said...

thoughtsonthis on 12/08/2008

Some years ago the NY Times subscription department called our home, asking if we would like a subscription to their paper. I think I surprised the sales person by quickly telling her no thank you. She then asked why I would turn down the offer and I simply told her that her paper was too liberal.

I know you should read the other side of the issues, but why should I pay to read something I don't believe.

Anonymous said...

Bagio54 on 12/08/2008

I no longer subscribe to any newspaper and when watching MSM I turn the station as soon as Obama's name is mentioned because I already know they are going to let me know again how wonderful he is, or how terrible Bush is, I'm not a Bush fan but give me a break.

Anonymous said...

SuperVepr308 on 12/09/2008

They did it to themselves. Most of America doesn't like to be told what to think and that's the business these organizations are in now. It's sad, but them's the facts. I wouldn't take a free subscription to that rag.

Anonymous said...

tasine 22 hr 49 min ago

I subscribe to no newspaper or news magazine, and I watch no TV news. They offer me exactly nothing but ulcers. One of the local rags asked me why I didn't subscribe, and I told them because I wanted news and they didn't provide it. She wasn't happy with my answer, but they quit bothering me.

Anonymous said...

lilamae 16 hr 51 min ago

Caught a little of Sean Hannity on the radio on the commute from work. There was mention of Tribune's sale of Wrigley Field being blocked by the governor of Illinois? Who has just been indicted for something related to the sale? of Obama's U.S. Senate seat. Ya'll might want to keep your eyes/ear open for further developments. This could get very ugly for the President Elect (as well as other prominent Illinois politicians).