The Minneapolis Star Tribune may be the first victim of default. Finance and Commerce says Avista Capital Partners, which acquired the paper last year, now wants out of the deal. The trouble is that no one wants to put up any money. Investors are paying only 53 cents on the dollar for a share of the current note, which is well below the Wall Street average of 90 cents. The ultimate buyer could be a distressed-debt hedge fund, which will move quickly to slash costs. It’s hard to believe that McClatchy paid $1.2 billion for the Star Trib in 1998. We’d estimate that investment is worth about $200 million now.
More coverage of the Pew Research study released this week: Marshall Kirkpatrick wonders if location-aware mobile devices like the iPhone 3G could be the nail in the coffin.Â If the salvation of newspapers is local, then how do you compete against a device that delivers local news right where you’re standing? Kirpatrick says he’s an unabashed newspaper fan, but the dailies have got to figure out a way to stop killing trees in order to dump paper on his doorstep that then goes right into the recycling bin.
The Los Angeles Times is folding its book review section. The decision has drawn howls of protest from the book review editors themselves, who are encouraging their readers to howl with them. Book reviews are the most erudite features of major metro dailies and an important symbol of the intellectual value newspapers deliver. We guess that’s not a high priority to Tribune Co. management at the moment.
Evening Post Publishing Co., owner of the Charleston Post and Courier, is offering buyouts to all of the paper’s 513 employees, looking to shed staff without resorting to layoffs. Employees can get the standard two weeks for every year of service. The Post and Courier is the oldest paper in South Carolina and once employed more than 700 people. (via The Digitel).
Â David Sullivan’s That’s the Press, Baby is always an engaging read, even when we don’t agree with him. He lets loose on some doomsayers this week with rapier wit. Sullivan’s blog is about newspapers, copy editing and department stores, three topics that frequently come up in the same sentence.
The Sacramento Bee‘s ombudsman asks us to keep it all in perspective. Despite the nuclear winter that hovers over the US newspaper industry, global trends are up. Did you know that Turks spend 74 minutes a day with their broadsheets? Or that circulation is up 481% in Ukraine over the last five years? These and other nuggets are available in this entertaining column.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 at 9:50 am and is filed under Business News, Circulation, Layoffs, Local news, NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.