Newspapers continue falling

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by hughb, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. hughb


    Newspapers fall on deeper cost-cutting measures
    Friday January 30, 6:47 pm ET
    Newspaper stocks fall on Gannett write-down, Belo job cuts, Media General dividend suspension

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Newspaper stocks plunged Friday as several major publishers revealed deeper cost-cutting measures amid an exodus of advertising dollars to the Web and the recession's worsening of the industry's serious financial problems.
    USA Today publisher Gannett Co.'s shares plunged 16 percent. The nation's largest newspaper publisher said its fourth-quarter net income fell 36 percent to $158 million. The company warned that even those profits would be wiped out once it takes as much as $5.9 billion in pretax write-downs to account for the falling value of its businesses. Gannett also said its board would explore a dividend cut in a move to conserve cash.

    Like other newspapers, Gannett is hurting from a migration of advertising from the printed page to the Internet, a trend that has forced big layoffs. Last year, the McLean, Va.-based company cut the work force at most of its U.S. newspapers by 10 percent.

    Gannett blamed the massive write-down on the company's falling stock price and the recession's vaporizing of advertising demand. Gannett's quarterly advertising revenue for its publishing businesses fell 22.7 percent.

    The stock fell $1.13 to close at $5.77.

    Shares of Media General Inc., which publishes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Tampa Tribune and the Winston-Salem Journal, fell 21 cents, or 9.7 percent, to $1.95, after the company announced plans to suspend its dividend.

    The announcement came as Media General reported that it swung to a loss of $85.5 million in the fourth quarter, while sales fell 12 percent to $207 million

    The company said its decision to suspend dividends on its Class A and Class B shares will help direct cash to reducing debt. The company has already laid off hundreds of workers, suspended profit-sharing and executive bonuses, and plans to halt contributions to workers' 401(k) accounts.

    Shares of publisher A.H. Belo Corp., whose papers include The Dallas Morning News and The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, slipped nearly 4 percent after the company announced plans to lay off 500 more workers, or 14 percent of its staff. A.H. Belo had about 3,460 workers, including full- and part-timers, at the end of September.

    Last year, the company cut 90 workers in one round of layoffs and 500 jobs in another round through voluntary severance offers.

    A.H. Belo was spun off last February from Belo Corp., which owns and operates television stations.

    A.H. Belo's stock fell 8 cents, or 3.9 percent, to close at $2.

    Lee Enterprises Inc.'s stock was off 5 cents, or 13.9 percent, to close at 31 cents after the company announced that it has received a waiver of "covenant conditions" on $306 million of its debt, which means the company isn't at immediate risk of being default on the terms of that contract. The waiver has been extended until Feb. 6.
  2. hughb


    Back in September of 08 Carlos Slim had acquired 6.4% of the NYT's class A stock. He's taken a huge loss on the stock, but he also lent them some money and was given preffered stock with a very high yield. I wonder how big his loss is right now. Slim is a smart man, but I wonder if he has really missed the mark by betting on the NYT. I don't know how much, if any, goodwill the NYT has had to write down, but Gannet is getting ready to write down $5.9B. If the NYT writes down anywhere near as much, it isn't much of a trophy to own. It would be as bad as owning a baseball team that never gets out of last place.

    I like newspapers. Every morning I look forward to my coffee and newspaper. If I had the time to read more of them, I would, but right now I only read the WSJ. I really don't want to see them go, but they look like they are on the ropes, their tootguards have been knocked out and sailed into the first row, their knees are buckling, and their eyes are swollen shut. A big reason, maybe even the biggest reason for their misfortune is the internet. However, you can't overlook the biased reporting. That hurt them as well. So many of them are blatantly biased to the Democratic party that their journalistic integrity was compromised. We really saw that during the recall of Gray Davis as governor in California when the LA Times was reporting fabricated poll results in favor of Davis. Anothre bias that I can personally attest to is the anti-white racism that is blatant in the San Diego U/T. It's downright disgusting at times. I have to admit I would be happy to see the San Diego U/T fail, it's a horrible newspaper.

    Maybe Carlos Slim sees something that others don't. He certainly saw the potential for a telecommunications network in Mexico that nobody else saw. Maybe he can turn this ship around. I'm not too optimisitic though.
  3. slacker


    He doesn't have to look far. His deal includes a payout at 14% annual interest. He also gets warrants on 16 million shares of Times 'A' stock (front of the line). These warrants will let him buy another 10%. For this loan NYT will pay Slim $35 million a year in interest.....

    This is a desperation deal by the NYT, and very very good business by Slim.
  4. newspapers are old news, pun intended. The world is moving forward, not standing still in the 1800's, and most of it is full of shit advertisements...and why would i pay for something that i can get for free on the internet?
  5. I tried to read a Los Angeles Times recently... there are all these formulaic stories of misery and defeat... they have ones about the rich guy that is stuck between a half dozen public sector bureaucracies and bleeding money, ones about the poor widow in Oxnard that should be getting $683 a month but it is only $657, and she's obviously here illegally but they will never use that word....... it's a sickening piece of garbage, has been since the first time I saw it in 1959... Yeahhhh for Craigslist, it put the liberal rags out of the classifieds business and Drudgereport has a continually updating set of news for free... I'll read a Times if somebody leaves one in the coffee shop but donate to their cause... fagetaboutit...

    These Liberal rags are from the buggy whip era, who needs their non-educational / indoctrinational stuff anymore at all? I can get background on anyone and anything from a Drudge story with a couple of clicks of the mouse...
  6. hughb


    And it is all the more frustrating because none of these left-leaning reporters and editors will admit that their bias is a problem, OR even admit that they have any bias.

    Frankly, I think a story about the hardships of an illegal immigrant is a worthwile story. It should be reported, and I will read it. Here's the rub - hardships on the host society is also a reportable story, but almost no one will report it. They are so opiniated and arrogant that they don't think it's a story as if we as a society are so wealthy we can absorb the costs of illegal immigrants, in fact we are obligated to.

    Anyway, for you guys who hate newspapers and reporters, your day is coming and you will have the last laugh when the final final edition rolls off the presses and ex-reporters and editors try their hand at blogging. I don't hate these guys, I just wish they would wake up and be more objective.
  7. Lucrum


  8. +100000

    The day will come when all newspapers stop printing
  9. The NYT taking an astonishingly risky loan from Slim was a despirate attempt to keep Murdoch at bay. He has had his eyes
    on this trophy for years. I believe that the day will come-perhaps
    within 5 years-that Murdoch will ultimatly take control of the Times. This will be a most hilarious moment. Perhaps he will offer
    the senior editor position to Bill O'Reily!
  10. A few years ago I subscribed to a couple of newspapers at a cost of over $400 a year. It was a nuisance whenever the morning paper was late or didn't show up. I was constantly dealing with piles of paper that I had to put out for recycling. Finally I got a laptop with a wireless connection and found that I had access to several newspapers which I could read anywhere in the house. I got rid of the subscriptions to the paper newspapers. I figured that the savings would pay for a new laptop every couple of years.
    #10     Feb 1, 2009