From Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com
After purchasing the Boston Globe in 1993 for a then-record $1.1 billion, the financially troubled New York Times just announced it sold the 141 year-old paper to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry for a mere $70 million. That's a straight 93% loss. Figuring in two decades of inflation would only make it worse -- as does the fact the Times retains the Globe's pension liabilities, estimated at over $100 million.
How could anyone possibly think that liberal minds could be responsible with taxpayer’s money running government, when they do such a poor job managing businesses in the private sector?
To be fair, the newspaper business has been brutal the past twenty years. In 1990, I fell off the face of the earth, and went to run a feeder pig operation for two years in a somewhat remote area, with virtually no TV or radio reception.
In 1992, I found a farm to rent a little closer to civilization. I was pretty pumped up about that because now I could listen to a guy on the radio that I had heard about, but was never able to receive his broadcast. That man of course, was Rush Limbaugh. I would park my truck as close as I could to wherever I was working, open the doors, and crank up the radio so I could hear him even if I was inside a building.
One of the first things I learned listening to Rush was from hearing one of his sponsor’s (AOL, America Online) commercials. There was this new thing (at least new to me) out there called the internet, and it immediately went from being something I had no knowledge of, to being something I heard about everyday. Everyone was certain that it was going to be the next “big thing”.
Now it was one thing for a redneck like myself to not understand the potential of the internet to change communication and the media in 1992, but for the New York Times to not have a better understanding of that in 1993, at least in hindsight, seems almost inexcusable.
Six years later, Craigslist was born and stole away almost all of newspaper classified advertising overnight. Now one might be inclined to think that this was just an incredible stroke of bad luck for the newspapers, but I think there is more to it than just that. Maybe newspapers wouldn’t have lost all that ad revenue so quickly if they hadn’t been raping people with the prices of their ads! If any of them have been able to even survive the past ten years, imagine how much cash they must have been rolling in (if they were properly managed) before the 1990’s. Charging as much as you possibly can for your product or service is not always the best business model. There’s this thing in economics called “elasticity of demand” that so few people understand, but there’s even more to it than that.
Remember a few years back when Pizza Hut lowered the prices of it’s pizzas to ten dollars? What was your reaction? Did you think to yourself, “Oh good, now my pizzas are cheaper!”, or did you think, “Those bastards! They have been raping me all this time!” I immediately thought the later.
I’m sure that if you have been reading this blog long enough, you can imagine what kind of cars I drive, and you’d be correct: pieces of shit that you would be embarrassed to be seen in, but there’s a number of reasons that I do this:
- I’m poor (at least compared to how rich I want to be) and they’re cheaper than good cars, initially and in the long run. I only need liability insurance, and I don’t have to fix (at least properly) every little thing that goes wrong.
- I’m cheap. I sold new and used cars and trucks in the ‘80’s and personally witnessed everyday, the stupid decisions people would make just so they could have a new car. Customers would be sitting at the other side of my desk figuring out how much money they made and spent each month, and the difference, they considered what they could afford for a monthly car payment. What idiots, they’d hardly ever leave any money to allow for contingencies. What did they do when their water heater quit working? Lucky for them, that’s about the same time auto title loan business started springing up to help them part with even more of their money. I guess seeing all that made me have an aversion to taking loans out to purchase depreciating “assets”. That along with having the desire to drive a new car being satisfied by driving a new demo every few months definitely got the “new car bug out” of my system.
- I’m poor as I am cheap. I usually either make money on my cars by selling them for a profit or at least save money by driving the piss out of them. Currently, I have put on about 60K miles my current ‘95 Honda Civic that I bought for $1000.
Where was I going with this? What was I talking about? Oh yeah! Newspapers raping us with classified ad prices. People who ran and read classified ads were notoriously cheap, and were the first ones to abandon the newspapers as soon as they had a chance.
Remember classified ad prices before Craigslist? $15 per week for a puny little three line ad with no pictures? Charging per letter - Remember the abbreviations? PS, PL, PW, AT, AC, and some that people just made up, like CLR for color? If someone under 30 went back in time, they wouldn’t be able to decipher a used car classified ad.
My point is that the newspapers had been screwing us all along and now we’re supposed to cry tears of sorrow and sympathy for them. No way pal. Especially since there are examples of print media that contain nothing but advertising and have managed to survive. There is a publication around here called Auto Trader or Auto Buyer or maybe there’s two of them and they’re free at news stands! You run your ad with picture,for a reasonable price, until your car sells! Did newspapers ever even think of doing something like that? By the time they considered giving people breaks on advertising, it was too late. Most people must have felt the same way about them as I did about Pizza Hut.
The amazing thing about Craigslist is how quickly it devastated newspaper ad revenue. Force of habit is powerful. People had always read and advertised in newspapers. There had to be a pretty strong incentive to make them change. The prices of classified ads were so high, that it got grandparents to get their grandchildren to put up and read ads for them on the internet. The barrier of not having or knowing how to use a computer did not stop them. None of this would have happened as quickly if newspaper ads were more reasonably priced, and that’s just classified advertising, a similar story can be told concerning retail advertising.
There’s even more to the stupidity of liberals running newspapers than being asleep at the wheel concerning advertising. Here’s more from Breitbart:
The Times announced in February that it was putting the Globe up for sale. News reports claimed that bids had been as high as $100 million. What might have sweetened the lower offer for the Times is that Henry offered a straight cash deal, which is expected to close sometime in September or October.
In 2011, the Times turned down a $300 million offer from Aaron Kushner, CEO of Freedom Communications, Inc., publisher of the Orange County Register and other newspapers in California. This offer even included the assumption of pension liabilities, which are currently estimated at $110 million.
The Times itself reports that today's sale to Henry does not include pension liabilities. Apparently, those remain a Times' responsibility and expense.
In September of 2002, the Boston Globe enjoyed a circulation rate of 413,000. The average weekday circulation today is nearly half that, 230,351
OK, Let’s cut the New York Times some slack for the purchase of the Boston Globe in 1993. After all, hindsight is 20/20. Learn from your mistakes right? Wrong! By 2011, everyone knew that the newspaper business was in a death spiral, but the Times turned down an offer for $300 million for the globe along with its pension liabilities, and look at what they have to settle for now.
Does anyone need more evidence that liberal mindsets and poor management go hand in hand? The Globe’s (along with most other newspapers) circulation has been cut in half. Even if Al Gore had never invented the internet, major newspapers would have certainly lost readership over the past twenty years, because they have alienated a large percentage of their potential audience with their liberal views. Here, Breitbart sums it all up:
Other than plummeting circulation due to online competition, both the Times and Globehave been plagued by collapsing ad revenues, that have only worsened in recent years. Friday the Times reported its 11th straight quarter of falling ad revenue.
Both the Globe and Times have and continue to strongly endorse and champion President Obama and his economic policies, even though those policies have failed to create the kind of economic growth necessary to create a boom in advertising spending. The future doesn't look much brighter.
Last quarter the American economy only grew by 1.7%. Last month saw only 162,000 new jobs created, most of them part-time.
Liberal people in control of the mainstream media have enabled liberal people to be in control of our country, states, and cities. But like with the newspapers, liberals cannot remain at the controls of government forever, without dire consequences.
Obama ran on change, but ironically, change is something liberals can’t handle. They just assume that they can get away with acting the same way, regardless of market forces or other outside influences. The out-of-control debt of our various governments’ is what Craigslist was to the newspapers, and if left up to the liberals, they will both go the same way. We’re watching it happen already.