Thursday | Oct. 2 | Got news, or a question?

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27 Responses to “Thursday | Oct. 2 | Got news, or a question?”

  1. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I’m starting late today because I stayed up too late, dancing with my friend Sandra.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    What potential buyers could there be for Wilmington? Who could afford it right now? And if it might actually be consolidation ahead of a sale, who could possibly buy Wilmington plus some or all of NJ – since they’re now tied at the hip? What thinks Jim? Again, realizing this is probably just a rumor based on the fear we are all living.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    In light of that dismal S&P report, I would be looking for a buyer for GCI, not just Wilmington.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    A lot of companies have had bad credit news the past few days. Don't overact to the Gannett S&P report. Gannett is in a better position than many.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The scare tactics going on here are really asinine. GCI still makes a pile of money,just not as much as they would like.

    People have this entire financial crisis way out of proportion. Sure there are some big names failing but there are trillions of dollars more in value in the markets now than there was in the great depression.

    Do your homework people.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, Gannet has a good cash flow, but how dumb could they really be. Some papers because of their location need to be sold or completely redone.

    Say, a new business model. Oh, crap did I say innovate. What if all they did was glossy magazines because the area demanded it. Maybe, that would be thinking outside of the box to much for them. No matter how good the cash flow is it won’t last forever.

    GCI needs to innovate or reap the whirlwind of being smacked by the competition over and over.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    10:00 AM

    I agree that there will probably be some drastic changes,maybe some sites will go, who knows.

    My point is that people that have this the sky is falling attitude do not really understand the numbers. If you have the money, smart investors are buying now because everything is on sale.

    If GCI was planning on abandoning the printed product, why do they continue to invest in web reductions, which arent exactly cheap projects.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I love the “do your homework” line.

    You know more about the markets because you’re simply brighter and I guess mensa.com is linking to this blog now.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I cannot believe the pollyannas on this blog who refuse to see the problems we face. Look at what is happening on Wall Street, and listen to Treasury Secty. Paulson or some of our members of Congress, and we are in really horrible shape. That is going to spill over to GCI, whether you want it or not. For god's sake, take off your rose colored glasses and look realistically at what is happening. S&P doesn't downgrade on a whim, and corporate would not have responded with a feel-good press release if this wasn't really serious.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    10:54 I have NEVER seen a pollyanna on this blog.
    But the “sky is falling “is an overused dramatic expression on this blog.
    I thought journalists were fact-driven…not drama-driven.
    Guess I was wrong.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    If you have the stomach for the stock market and want to see “community” price estimates, this is a lot of fun

    http://www.caps.fool.com/Ticker/GCI.aspx

  12. Anonymous Says:

    The sky is not falling and Gannett is better positioned than most, if not all, the other large newspaper companies to survive the current unpleasantness in the newspaper business and the U.S. economy. That said, the question becomes, “Where’re we going with all this?”

    An anecdote: A few months back I stayed a few days with relatives in Wisconsin who subscribe to the Appleton paper. I asked them what they thought of it. “It’s a joke,” one said, the other agreeing. Why? I asked. “There’s no news in it. It’s all Packers, all the time.”

    Now, this was during the Brett Favre, will-he-stay-or-will-he-go saga. Those not familiar with Wisconsin need to understand that Mr. Favre could probably be governor of Wisconsin if he were foolish enough to want the job. When I suggested that the Favre saga made these unusual times to these people they said, “Au contraire. It’s worse right now because of Favre, but it’s pretty much that way all the time. They are just producing one paper in all these cities and trying to make us think it’s our own local paper.”

    My quotes here are not exact, because I am not a reporter and was not trying to be. But they’re pretty darn close.

    I guess you can’t hate the company for doing it. The Green Bay Packers are the reason that the Green Bay newspaper is consistently among the most profitable in the company. So I guess they figure that leveraging that content across Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Manitowoc etc. is smart business. Like much of what Gannett does, it’s short-term smart and long-term foolish.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    “Like much of what Gannett does, it’s short-term smart and long-term foolish.”

    Maybe we can make T-shirts with this on it. It really is the reason the company is spiralling into oblivion. Too bad the suppsed “leaders” can’t see it.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Prepare for total economic collapse….

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I’m in Appleton, our marketing research consistently shows that upwards of 75% of our audience watches the Packers on any Sunday – and those who don’t care about the Packers as a team are affected by the economy it drives, even 35 miles away.

    We’re actually GIVING the majority of our customers what they want, and our revenues reflect it.

    We share stories, sure. And photos, graphics, ads. But I think it’s offering our readers more to provide stories from Green Bay, Manitowoc, or Sheboygan in addition to the stories our writers put out.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Here's an interesting comment on the Star-Ledger situation, by a reader on the Asbury Park Press website.

    I really hope Corporate listens up. They won't, but I still hope someone there will wake up.

    "localboomer says:
    Please, not them too. The Press has gotten so weak lately, I was honestly planning to switch to the Star-Ledger. Did you notice that a canned story from Indiana or some place referred to a chef from there as "local" yesterday? Now that the Press can no longer afford movie & restaurant critics, we've all joined the "world community", I guess. (LOL, but barely.) The Sunday editorial section is also gone, & the ads they're accepting (an obviously bogus medical guide, the ultra-annoying zoom-zoom NJNG ad) show their desperation.

    Maybe I'll just subscribe to Dilbert on-line & forget the papers altogether."

    http://www.app.com/article/20081002/BUSINESS/81002024/-1/UPDATE

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Seen this? It echoes my feelings about newspapers:

    http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=4623

  18. Anonymous Says:

    The Appleton employee wrote:

    “I’m in Appleton, our marketing research consistently shows that upwards of 75% of our audience watches the Packers on any Sunday – and those who don’t care about the Packers as a team are affected by the economy it drives, even 35 miles away. We’re actually GIVING the majority of our customers what they want, and our revenues reflect it.”

    Yes–and that’s fine. My post about my relative’s comments RE the Appleton paper wasn’t so much that the paper covers the Packers to the Nth degree. That’s to be expected in Wisconsin–especially Northeast Wisconsin. Their complaint was that the paper doesn’t do anything else with anywhere near the intensity or quality.

    It’s not that they don’t think the Packers belong in the paper. It’s that they think the paper isn’t doing the other stuff that they expect to see.

    By the way, one of them, the man of the house, is a big football fan. The lady of the house doesn’t care for sports at all. They are in their early 60s and living a very well-funded retirement in a McMansion on the big lake over there (Chicago transplants). I asked if, given the way they feel, whether they planned to discontinue the paper. He shrugged and said, “Maybe.”

    But ya know what? I’m thinking they’ll re-up when the time comes. Because they have been reading newspapers all their lives, and it’s just part of their routine.

  19. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I can write any kind of story — except a sports story. I’d be totally lost.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    The job report today from Commerce is causing all this additional market grief. Top economists now say we are in a recession after reviewing Sept. data and that it most likely will last until April 2009.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I have a feeling, Jim, that there is going to be a pressing need for financial reporters at many news organizations. After cutting the business pages and buying out aged financial reporters on the grounds no one reads business news anymore, editors suddenly find they need someone who understands the basics of how this all works. Funny, ain’t it, how that old carousel works. What goes around, comes around.
    The only question I have is how much of the media is going to be left, because this economic unwinding is moving much faster than I ever thought, and we are entering a very dangerous deflationary cycle.

  22. rmichem Says:

    Your going to see a lot of new small press business publication come on the scene, to try and fill the gap left by declining business news by papers. I have heard of one new business newspaper, being publish in S.F. That was several months ago. I don't know if they made it or not> That might be something you want to look in to Jim for maybe work.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    10:57 I thought journalists were fact-driven…not drama-driven.
    Guess I was wrong.

    You’re kidding me right?

  24. Anonymous Says:

    The new book about Warren Buffet makes a fascinatating point that we might relate to the newspaper industry:

    A lengthier chunk from the second chapter describes in great detail how Buffett “preached” in 1999 to an audience at Herb Allen’s Sun Valley conference. Many of the people in the room had amassed vast paper profits from stocks shooting ever higher in the Internet boom. Buffett wasn’t playing that game, and some of the younger people in the audience thought he was stuck in the past, unable to understand that this time it would be ‘different.’

    Buffett’s message: “There was no new paradigm … Ultimately, the value of the stock market could only reflect the output of the economy.”

    Buffett is still bullish on the newspaper industry and thinks the web is overweighted. He owns Gannet stock and 18% of the Washington Post Co, as well as others.

    It’s a fascinating read.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    10:57 I thought journalists were fact-driven…not drama-driven.
    Guess I was wrong.

    Remember, not everyone who posts on this blog is a journalist, because not everyone who works at a newspaper works in the newsroom.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    8:26 a.m. – Wilmington and the NJ papers may be linked at the corporate level, but as far as production, news, IT, circulation, etc., they’re completely independent operations. There’s no overlap. There are far more operational links between Wilmington and Salisbury, Md.

    It’s just rumor, as far as I’ve heard, but that’s all we’ve got to go on, so it just feeds itself. But debating the merits of Zell vs. Murdoch keeps us busy. 😉

  27. Anonymous Says:

    NJ and Wilmington are not just linked at the corporate level. We no longer have a marketing director or an HR director or a circulation director, and we have been told that we are under the Wilmington umbrella.

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