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Sun-Times told it should do more cost-cutting by... wait for it...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by steveu, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    A shareholder. Link is on Editor and Publisher, you have to scroll down to see it (it's on the left under the other headlines section).

    I'm all for shareholders making a decent return on their investment, but I'd be damned if I let someone tell me how to run my business.

  2. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Well, add another person to the "Go Fuck Yourself" list.
  3. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Member

    Maybe this dumb fuck should have considered investing in something that wasn't a newspaper. Even I know that, and my portfolio is quite thin.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I'd tell him to shove his hedge fund where the sun don't shine.
  5. Zeemer

    Zeemer Member

    Or where the Sun-Times don't shine.
  6. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    To be frank, it is his business. The fund owns 10 percent of it. The CEO etc.work for the shareholders.

    That's the problem of public ownership. I newspaper has a special place in society and a mission. I think any journalism guy worth his salt would sacrifice some profits for the the story. It's why we are herein the first place. A local owned and privately held publisher would also think likewise to a point.

    A hedge fund 1000 miles away? They just want profits. They don't care what business it is in. They are about money, not delivering a product.

    That is what's killing newspapers in this country.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I agree. It's crazy. Where does it end?

    Not every business tries to put out the cheapest damn product it can.

    But newspapers seem to be going that way and they are going to slide from local monopoly to something that six people and a computer can compete with in the near future.
  8. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Oh, and, um, no one's reading them (or advertising in them).

    EDIT: Ok. Ok. Ok. That was a bit of an overstatement. I was having a particularly shitty day and let that one rip.
  9. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    This is very true and well said, but you're missing one crucial point:

    Nobody stuck a gun to Abner Kurtin's head and told him to invest in SVN. If he doesn't like it, he has two choices: either buy a controlling interest in STNG or sell his shares.

    Activist shareholder noise by these titans of Wall Street (see Icahn, Carl and Peltz, Nelson) gets a lot of play in the media, but it's overrated. Bleating and rending your garments because you bought into a faulty business or into crappy management only gets you so far when you don't own 50.1% of the company.

    It's no different than that Morgan Stanley guy Hassan Elmasry discovered, when he bought a 15 or so percent share in NY Times, only to learn that his Class B shares didn't entitle him to much say in how the company is run because the Class A shares have 10X the voting power and, by the way, are all in the hands of the Sulzberger family.

    Sheer genius. God Bless the Sulzbergers for putting in that provision when they took the company public. It's the blueprint for how publicly traded newspapers should exist.
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    No. That's not true. Grahams have controlling interest of the Washington Post Co. (and its many subsidiaries). It's their company.
    The Ochs-Sulzbergers have "tiered" control of the N.Y. Times.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    You know what's wild? Romenesko linked to an item today about BusinessWeek laying off 12 people in editorial. In the SAME memo:

    Readership is UP, newsstand sales were UP 25 PERCENT, and they are laying off people? Now, granted, they make no mention of ad revenue, and I understand that's the important factor. But still. This is getting sick.

  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I was having a bad day! I edited the post.
    I get out of these meetings. And all I hear is: "No." "No. We can't do that." "I don't think advertising can support that [project]." "You can do it if it comes your [newsprint] budget."
    Fuck you. I really mean it. Fuck you. How about someone tell us one goddamn time, "We'll try." That's all I fucking want to hear, "We'll try." Is that so fuckin' hard?
    I'll tell you why we have no new revenue, because you guys work 10 a.m.-ish to 4 p.m.-ish and the only ads you sell are the ones that call you and we're lucky enough you pick up the fucking phone.
    Fuck me. Bad day almost over...
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