The Chicago Sun-Times and the Boston Globe, which were both fighting for their lives earlier this year, appear to have turned the corner and may soon be profitable, owners say.
Alan Mutter interviews Jeremy Halbreich, the newly installed CEO of the bankrupt Sun-Times Media Group (STMG). Halbreich (right) says that contrary to popular belief, the Sun-Times is gaining market share against the Tribune and that new owners are ready to invest more than $10 million in streamlining and modernizing the paper’s internal processes.
Halbreich isn’t giving out specifics, but he appears fully confident that the company will emerge from bankruptcy late this year and deliver 5% to 7% operating profit margins by the end of 2011. This hasn’t come without pain, of course. The STMG has gone through two years of aggressive cutbacks and more blood is likely to be shed before the turnaround is complete, but Halbreich appears to have the right attitude. He’s not waiting for the glory days to return but rather is restructing the organization to compete profitably at a smaller size. In an interview with Editor & Publisher, Halbreich provides a bit more detail on the STMG’s burn rate.
Globe May Turn Profit Soon
Meanwhile, The New York Times Co. is now saying it may not sell the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram after all. It seems that a combination of cost cuts, union concessions and a modestly improving economy have created the possibility that the Globe could actually turn a profit in the foreseeable future. That would be an accomplishment, given that the paper was losing $1.7 million a week at the beginning of this year.
Times Co. CEO Arthur Sulzberger Jr. isn’t making any promises, though. He’s started showing potential buyers around the facilities and is saying nothing to squelch speculation that Platinum Equity, which is considered the Chainsaw Al Dunlap of the newspaper business, may end up owning the New England properties. Employees fear that Platinum could come in as the new owner and make the kind of draconian cuts that have reduced the size of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s staff to a little more than half of what it was two years ago.
And finally, Canada’s National Post will return on Mondays following a summer-long hiatus. The Canwest daily announced in June that it would temporarily discontinue the lightly advertised Monday edition as a cost-cutting move. It didn’t gave a date for the issue’s return, but it appears that the ensuring nine weeks have given Canwest time to find some efficiencies and take a run at the Monday market with a slimmer, redesigned two-section edition (right).
This entry was posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 2:42 pm and is filed under Advertising, Business News, BusinessModel, Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.