Bailout for the New York Times – Not!

By John Harrington

It’s no surprise, and I can’t tell you how gleeful I am, that the New York Times Company owes $453 million more than it has, as reported by Silicon Alley Insider.
The supposed best and brightest Ivy League pontificators — who love to tell the rest of us how to run our lives and businesses — cannot even keep their own finances above water. It’s delicious when one thinks about it.

Consider that:

  • Digital news site revenues, although growing, are in the single digits as a percentage of newspapers’ print product.
  • The Christian Science Monitor has ceased print publication.
  • The Washington Post Company reported in the third quarter that a full 49% of their income came not from newspaper, but in their ownership of the Kaplan company, which provides education, testing and tutoring holding.
  • News and opinion is now truly a commodity of freedom thanks to the web, and readers, advertisers, the republic and the world will be better for it.
    How funny would it be if they needed a government bailout. Never happen, of course.There’s an old saying that “freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.” And with the web, that’s just what we’ve got. In addition to niche blogs, there are companies such as, iReport, CJReport and others that commodify news reporting and deliver it faster, cheaper and greener than the old print paradigms.

    The best part is the Ivy Leaguers at the Times and their ilk should have seen this coming. They chronicled their own digital demise without taking appropriate fiscal actions and seeing far ahead to protect their shareholders. They were too busy telling everybody else how to think and what to do.

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