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Here's how much the market has knocked down newspaper stocks in the last 52 weeks. I picked 10 representative newspaper stocks; half of them are significantly diversified into other media. The list includes the cream from a quality standpoint: Washington Post, NY Times, etc. During the last 52 weeks, the Standard & Poor's 500 has gone down 46.55%. Seven of the ten newspaper stocks have gone down more than 90%. Here they are, with stock performance over the last year: Gannett (the largest chain, whose bonds were downgraded to junk this week) down 92.04%; E.W. Scripps down 99.28%; McClatchy down 95.59%; Lee down 96.9%; Media General down 90.05%; GateHouse Media down 98.61%; AH Belo down 92.92%; News Corp. (Murdoch's company, including Dow Jones) down 63.8%; New York Times down 76.72%, and Washington Post down 52.82%. It could be overkill -- but what will be the societal effects if it isn't?

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Don Bauder March 6, 2009 @ 4:46 p.m.

Response to post #5: Scary. Blodget is trying to recover from the bad reputation he so justly got in the 2000-2002 tech crash. Floyd Norris, whom he quotes, is one of the best. Best, Don Bauder


Twister March 6, 2009 @ 10:51 p.m.

Newspapers don't "get it." For that matter, neither do websites.

Newspapers are quicker and easier to navigate than websites. Is that weird, or what? They need to understand the relationship between the two. I want to scan and read parts of the newspaper without being plugged in to a laptop or other device. I don't want to subscribe; I want to buy it off the street or in a store. THEN I want to go to the computer later and find the pieces I want to store for later reference QUICKLY.

Advertising is dead. Brokering transactions is where "it's at." Putting buyers and sellers together--for free for the small stuff, and at a commission for the bigger stuff. Newspapers are needlessly running scared--in their ancient ruts.

Note: The Reader makes money. Even if its website sucks. It's not user-driven, and it doesn't match up with the street product, which caters to a goofy demographic, except for page 6. What will happen to its profits when narcissism dies?

We need newspapers, but newspapers/websites that facilitate, follow-up, and find, not fulminate--and that includes blogs.


Don Bauder March 7, 2009 @ 7:06 a.m.

Response to post #7: You have interesting thoughts. I do disagree with some: for example, the Reader has put a lot of money into improving its website, and I think it succeeds, but I admit I am biased. Your question: what happens when narcissism dies? I don't think greed, lust, or narcissism will be dying as long as humans are on this earth, and I really don't think the Reader feasts on narcissism. Skepticism yes, narcissism no. You are correct that newspapers -- big dailies anyway -- are running scared in their own ruts. Part of the reason is that dailies have enormous investments in capital equipment such as presses. Also, what does a daily newspaper have? One of its most valuable assets is the ability to deliver a publication to a fairly upscale audience. That ability is diminishing and advertisers are going elsewhere, but it remains one of any paper's strengths -- something with protection from competition. Some daily newspapers are still profitable, at least on a cash flow basis. Wall Street believes daily newspapers have little future, but Wall Street is often wrong. I would like to hear more of your thoughts. Best, Don Bauder


valueinvestingisdead March 5, 2009 @ 9:30 p.m.

WAIT WAIT HOLD THE PRESSES!!!!!!!!!!!! Brandes thinks these are great value plays at 10x their current prices.

How can that place still be in business?



SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2009 @ 10:43 p.m.

Brandes U.S. Equity Fund ........-56.84

Yikes- this fund is in a hole bigger than San Diego's pension fund!


Don Bauder March 6, 2009 @ 6:42 a.m.

Response to post #1: Brandes Investment Partners did get slaughtered in newspaper stocks -- Gannett, McClatchy, etc., as well as autos and financials. The firm's one-, three- and five-year performances do not look good. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder March 6, 2009 @ 6:44 a.m.

Response to post #2: Didn't you read in the NY Times that Jerry Sanders fixed San Diego's pension problems? As well as the sewer and water problems? Best, Don Bauder


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