Patterico's Pontifications


How Far Will You Go to Save Newspapers?

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 11:41 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Google CEO Eric Schmidt likes newspapers and wants to see them survive. How far is he willing to go to see that happen? Not very far:

How about just buying them?

I don’t think our purchasing a newspaper would solve the business problems. It would help solidify the ownership structure, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem in the business. Until we can answer that question we’re in this uncomfortable conversation. I think the solution is tighter integration. The term I’ve been using is “merge without merging.” The web allows you to do that, where you can get the web systems of both organizations fairly well integrated, and you don’t have to do it on an exclusive basis.

How about just pumping some cash into them, the way Microsoft famously once did with Apple?

There are no current plans to do that. The necessary criteria to get us to make that decision are not currently in place.”

It sounds like Schmidt isn’t a big fan of bailing out failing businesses.


26 Responses to “How Far Will You Go to Save Newspapers?”

  1. It sounds like Schmidt isn’t a big fan of bailing out failing businesses.
    …which is why he’s no dummy, and which is why it’ll be the federal government that bails out Detroit’s Big Three.

    sierra (4be1ff)

  2. This reminds me of another quote whose author I cannot remember and I can only paraphrase because I cannot remember it verbatim.

    A democracy will fail when the people realize they can vote money for themselves.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  3. Is there anything I can pump cash into, that will make newspapers die more quickly?

    I’m not rich, but I’d like to do my part.

    Evil Pundit (843b74)

  4. I used to get phone calls from NYT 3 times a week asking me to subscribe. I told them on each call to quit calling me because I was not about to buy their yellow-journalistic liberal rag. It took months before they quit calling me… or is that a lull in their calls?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  5. How about selling news papers that actually print news, instead of half-assed liberal opinion/dogma?
    How about news stories that tell the whole story?

    How about reporters who want to tell every one what is actually happening, rather than changing the world?

    How about hiring people who vote conservative, rather than the 95% liberals who act as a propaganda organ for the Democrat Party?

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  6. Google has already sunk billions into dubious ventures at this point, they’re not about to pour more money into another sinkhole. Their stock is trading at half compared to a year ago – enough said.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  7. Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess (liberal gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, and is always followed by a dictatorship.“- quote attributed to Alexander Titler.

    Found it.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  8. Thank you, LarryD. It is with great heartache that I say we are at that stage in our form of democracy.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  9. I was under the impression that the only reason that Microsoft put any money into Apple was because they were forced to do so as part of a lawsuit settlement…

    Timothy Watson (2d1d06)

  10. How far would I go? I wouldn’t even cross the street to buy a copy of The Los Angeles Times.

    Steverino (69d941)

  11. but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem in the business

    Which is a complete lack of credibility with 90% of the population.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  12. The market will save newspapers that deserve to be saved. Just shoveling cash into them without accountability won’t do any good.

    And yes, Microsoft’s cash infusion into Apple was a purely business decision.

    Bradley J. Fikes (d35178)

  13. The market will save newspapers that deserve to be saved. Just shoveling cash into them without accountability won’t do any good.

    Gosh, Bradley, such common sense! Why shouldn’t this sound thinking apply to any industry looking for a bailout? It’s fair, driven by demand and addresses no special interest group. Whether it be newspapers, automakers, banks, defaulting homeowners, or even, as The rehabilitated Dana — 1/7/2009 @ 12:50 pm informed us, the ugh, porn industry, this simple rule of thumb is precisely what we need and would line up with the Patterico Plan for the Economy. Get all those greedy fingers out of the pie and let the market decide.

    Dana (137151)

  14. In this post — yes, I’m always willing to flog my own blog — I reproduced The Philadelphia Inquirer’s e-mail to me, offering to sell me what I already get for free: a digital copy of the inquirer.

    I can go to and get today’s Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and breaking news as well, and it doesn’t cost me a penny.

    I’d like to see newspapers survive, too, but they are eighteenth century technology; until they can figure out how to operate in the twenty-first century, they are on a death spiral. And offering to sell me what they already give away for nothing doesn’t strike me as figuring it out!

    The Dana who reads The Philadelphia Inquirer (556f76)

  15. Dana of the MPD add-ons, in my previous workplace, I was one of ten who actually owned a computer and one of 100 who worked there (production employee data). The 90 who didn’t own a computer and the 7 who did but didn’t have internet access still got their news from the local 36-page newspaper and the major TV channels (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and not the other cable channels). A large portion of “anywhere in the spectrum” still depends on print and broadcast news for their source of “facts.”

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  16. Mr Hitchcock, I pick up a dead-trees edition of the Inquirer on workdays, for the guys at the plant. And I happen to like being able to read the print edition; that’s actually easier to search than the web version. But if I wasn’t helping out the guys, I could still read the paper for free.

    The men with whom I work are all older — only one man younger than 50, and he’s 47 — and they are used to newspapers. But the upcoming generation isn’t. On the weekends, I don’t buy the paper.

    Dana of the MPD add-ons (556f76)

  17. Hey, Dana, where is your “follow this blog” toggle? I couldn’t find it. Gonna go put a link on mine to yours, even though this one and yours puts mine to shame in a huge way.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  18. “How Far Will You go to Save Newspapers”

    Not as far as they go to report the truth!

    EricPWJohnson (5a816b)

  19. EricPW-

    How can you go “less than zero”?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  20. #19

    With gas and a match…

    EricPWJohnson (5a816b)

  21. Dana,
    Get all those greedy fingers out of the pie…

    Tell it to Larry Flynt.

    Chris (ce5d67)

  22. Mr Hitchcock: I have both entries and comments RSS feeds listed in the sidebar, along with comment RSS on each article. But I went ahead and added Truth Before Dishonor to the blogroll, ’cause I’m such a nice guy! :)

    The Dana whose blog has gained traffic due to bigger bloggers like Patterico, and feels he should return the favor (556f76)

  23. Hey, I’m impressed: Mr Hitchcock’s blogroll has just two sites on it, Patterico’s and one more of which I am rather fond. :)

    The Dana puffing out his chest with pride (556f76)

  24. Shocker!: Former LA Times managing editor Douglas Frantz to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under new chairman John Kerry.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  25. That’s because he knew you wouldn’t hire him back under your editor-in-chieftainship.

    The snarky Dana (3e4784)

  26. Heh.

    Did you follow the ruckus between Frantz and former LAT reporter Mark Arax over the latter’s coverage of the Armenian genocide?

    Frantz accused Arax, who is of Armenian descent, of being biased. But Frantz may have had his own conflicts from his stint in Turkey.

    No points for guessing what Frantz will recommend on the Armenian genocide resolution.

    Bradley J. Fikes (b93e4d)

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