20% profit margin is enormous…and won’t last much longer

Another draft I never finished, or even developed past note form.

Basically I recall being angry with some news industry story that conveyed the same gist as this piece (although it was likely more recent). This one begins as follows:

“Contrary to popular belief, newspapers aren’t dying. Newspapers are making tons of money.”

— MARK CUBAN

The Tycoons Are Rushing to Make a Deal

When the Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, went on the block, it was another response to stockholders’ insatiable demand for rising returns, even for papers with loyal readership and steady ad support. But now that a bevy of bigwig buyers are itching to own prestigious dailies, newspapers in key markets may benefit from a return to private ownership..

These were my thoughts basically in bullet-points. Note the last one. Still makes my blood boil to think that’s why many of my friends have been losing their jobs.

  • Newspapers dug their own graves and now they are being buried by the outcomes of greed. Rebellion against the notion of the “gate-keepers” of news has, well, opened the flood gates. What’s been unleashed are essentially the many expressions of defiance for everything that represents traditional media… even for those principles which worked.
  • Because of this, even professional media Web sites are taking their cues from participatory, grassroots media, abandoning the journalistic values which transcend the medium.
  • *Idea that shareholders are taking advantage of the option to cut overhead (journalists on payroll) rather than dip below the monstrous 20% profit margin

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