Sunday, August 3, 2008

G&D, newspaper department

Recently on a journalism blog, I read the complaint of a journalist who wrote that his company’s stock had dropped so far that it was under $1 a share and in danger of being delisted, moved off a regular stock exchange to the penny-stock markets. Not very long ago, a monopoly newspaper was a goldmine, even in a smaller city. Now, any daily newspaper is, sadly, difficult to sell at any price.
The market capitalization of the Journal Register Company, publisher of the New Haven Register and hundreds of smaller papers, fell below $1 million last week, down more than 99 percent since the start of 2007. In the same period, GateHouse Media, another publisher of hundreds of small papers, has dropped almost 98 percent, to a market value under $26 million. The Sun-Times Media Group is down 91 percent, to less than $34 million.

That's amazing, to have lost 99% of market value in such a short time. The Journal-Register physical holdings must be worth more than a million. Read the whole NYTimes piece here. When I worked in Chicago in the late 60s, early 70s, there were four daily papers, two each morning and evening, and they all prospered, and they were all good papers. I'm glad sometimes I got old when I did. I'd hate to be young and facing the situation in newspaper journalism.

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