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More realistic profit goals: 5 to 10 percent?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Frank_Ridgeway, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Interesting tidbit in a story saying the Chicago Sun-Times' company is being looked at by the group that recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune:

    Halbreich said the old days of 30 percent profit margins are over, but he thinks that as normal businesses, making a 5 percent, sometimes 10 percent annual profit, newspapers have a future.

  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Five percent annual profit for a business that seems to be very risky is pretty crappy. No one will want to take that on.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Belee dat.
  4. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Well, my shop is at 13 percent for the first two quarters and right there again to start the third -- and furloughs, etc. are still the name of the game.
  5. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    David Simon said the exact same thing about a week ago at the national press club. He also went on to criticize newspapers taking people off beats and a number of other subjects. I saw it CSPAN last weekend. Might be worth a watch (about 20 minutes).
  6. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I worked at a grocery store in high school in the 1990s. We were the biggest, by far, of three grocers in town. Our profit margin was, on average, 1.5 percent.

    When we hit above 3 percent, the corporate office went apeshit.

    So yeah, I think 5-10 percent is reasonable.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The risk involved with an established grocery store is much different than the risk involved with a newspaper. Higher risk has to equal higher rewards.
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    In the short term that is a reasonable number. It will attract investors looking for long term value. It also buys time to figure out the correct business model for the internet.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    For a 5% return, I can either:

    A) Keep putting out a newspaper and hope it all doesn't fall apart.


    B) Drain it of every last penny and put all that in a long-term CD (well, those are getting 3.5% right now, but that's at the absolute worst time to be buying them).

    Why on earth would a businessman choose the former?
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Because you are hoping to buy the paper cheap and sell at some point down the road for a profit.

    The CD comparison is not a good one. A better comparison would be if you could take the same money and invest in the stock of a company that is paying a dividend and show promise for higher stock price down the road.

    Fast food restaurant chains such as Burger King and Yum Yum ( KFC / Taco Bell/ Pizza Hut) work on about 8% profit margin. The gold standard for fast food industry is McDonalds with 18% margins.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Why is McDonald's profit margin so much higher than Burger King's?
  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Ever get the $7 cheeseburger at the Grand Canyon?
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