A beau from my way-back machine (still a friend) asked in an email:
What you think of the sales of the Boston Globe and Washington Post for peanuts on the dollar? How in the hell is Bezos going to make money with the WP? Does he get the rights to the very good Sousa March of the same name?
I’m unqualified when it comes to the Sousa question (there’s a March?), but we all know that Moe do so luv to offer her opinion (I do it for free, so grateful am I for the ‘ask’.)
Here’s how I see it:
It’s a changed world. Big metro dailies need to be reinvented and as for Bezos and The Post, I think he’s the guy to do it. WaPo and the Globe have been shrinking for years like so many others. They’ve lost classified, real estate, and car ads to online. The one thing that isn’t going to happen again is growth – in size, in advertising and eventually in circulation – although the Post and the NYT and WSJ continue to reign supreme in readership because they all excel in an internet proof-product – excellent substantive reporting.
So I think at least with the Post, the goal is to find a revenue stream to support that core product and not fiddle with it. Everything else has to be reinvented. And who better to do it than Bezos who literally invented how to actually make big money online. Since he’s an individual owner – which was the tradition at the Post – I trust him more than a corp looking for quarterly earnings. He’ll support it for quite a while probably.. Just like Murdock has to support the NY Post and the Moonies have to support the Washington Times (daily circulation 83,000 vs WaPo 1.4million).
Metro dailies are today’s horse and buggies. Not surprisingly though, small weekly or bi-weekly local papers are doing very well. Very very well, which is probably why Buffet just bought a bunch of ‘em. Their operating cost are low – no need for out of town bureaus for instance. Or financing investigative reporting. As long as they cover city hall, births, deaths and school pageants, they’ve got it covered. Plus advertising is pretty cheap.
I don’t know much about the Globe except that again, this is a single owner – one already invested in the community. And also, I think that sale is an example of how the NY Times by selling it is sharpening its focus on protecting its flagship paper. They’ve been selling ‘Times Group’ papers for a while.
So I think Bezos can find a way to keep up readership while developing that reliable revenue stream with paid online access. The Times and WSJ are already doing that very successfully. And MOST importantly, he’ll usher the paper into the age of the mobile device because he also understands the future.
And that’s what I think.
A revealing moment in an exchange on Charlie Rose last night. His guests were the Editor and primary reporter from the Guardian there to talk about Snowden and the NSA leaks. At one point, Rose asked the reporter “so do you just call Snowden when you need to ask questions?”. She looked at him as though he were not wearing pants and replied “Um, we just text.” A telling moment.
Then this morning, I saw this:
The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday’s Herald, but Armywide.
Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke stories on data collection by the National Security Agency
Newsweek. Newsweek will cease print publication at the end of this year and become all digital. And there will be a pay wall.
We’ve seen this happening with lots of publications of course, but this is really huge. And there will be more to follow I’m sure.
When I worked in magazine publishing, which I did for many years, I did business with a number of the offset plants around the country who also printed Newsweek and Time. They were big companies those printers. No doubt in recent years, fewer plants and fewer personnel have been involved, so the damage won’t be as widespread as it once would have been, but damaging it will be to vendors of all stripes. Even today, Newsweek has been printing a million and a half copies every week.
Good news for the trees though.
First WordPress shut me out of multiple functions, something that’s been building over the last few days. I couldn’t even access the WP help forums and found no solace in outside forums. Deeply frustrated, I turned away and decided to make some calls.
Uh-oh. Dialing yields only a dial tone. I unplug and replug, I reboot, I turn off, I turn on. I change clothes and even re-comb my hair. Nothing. Nada. Sorry. Have a nice day.
So it was on to MagicJack live chat help – for a 53-minute long chat. That’s 53, as in fifty-three. They sent a few updates and did some remote resets. Once again there was much unplugging and replugging and even more rummaging around in Device Managers and such.
But they did it. Those sweet sweet kids in Bangladesh or wherever, fixed it. I am grateful.
So now one thing is fixed, but the WordPress problem sits there, waiting. More tries but it was just hitting a wall.
And yet here I am. Posting – because I decided to try the desktop. And voila! Everything works fine over here!
So the problem is in my laptop somewhere. And it is something beyond my ken. This may require a visit from the good Todd, he who fixes all things.
It is now four hours since I sat at my desk, four lost hours.
I’m going to have a Diet Coke.
This is the image I used in my own ‘tanning lady’ post – back when she was still a story. It turned out to be quite popular on teh google and lo, thus did those seekers-of-wisdom-and-truth come right here, right to Whatever Works. And lo, they left their delicious digital signatures, and lo, they did cause my May site stats to soar and climb to a great big number. (It was an outlier. I know. I know. But still . . . )
So now, as an experiment – only an experiment of course, there is nothing blog-whore-ey about it – I’m re-posting that very picture (or ‘gooble-bait’ as I call it) to see what happens.
I myself see this as important research that must be done, so yup, I am so doing it.
Romney was at an auto company yesterday, speechifying:
“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and . . . the companies got back on their feet . . . So, I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.”
As liberals gear up the outrage over that one, the push back will be ‘but Gore said he invented the internet’!!! Which, of course, he never said. And what he did say was true.
To wit: as we now know, Gore was one of the first inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame cuz:
[he] was “Instrumental in helping to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth as well.”
Posted in 2012 Elections, economy, History, internet, Politics, Romney
Tagged Al Gore, economy, elections, internet, Politics, Romney
Politico has the story:
Former Veep Al Gore is now getting a bit of credit for his infamous 1999 claim that “I took the initiative in creating the Internet”: He’ll be one of the first inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame
The names were announced Monday at the Internet Society’s Global INET 2012 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and Gore was placed in the “Global Connectors” category for having “made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet.”
The group’s description of Gore states: “Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet. Instrumental in helping to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth as well.”
Sure sounds to me like he took him some initiative there.