Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2009

Newspaper Bankruptcy Watch

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:34 pm

The latest bankruptcy: Philly papers:

Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C., which owns The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, filed for bankruptcy protection today in a bid to restructure its $390 million in debt load.

Bailout time!

Thanks to The College Politico.

135 Responses to “Newspaper Bankruptcy Watch”

  1. The adj-intense Dana will be happyy to hear that. The more Philly newspapers go under, the better “real” news will get to the masses. And that should please him. It pleases me, at the least.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  2. They better bail-out The Inquirer… they do more in-depth reporting than most other papers… :)

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  3. But where will the real news come? Not every city has a Patterico, or Dana.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  4. Bradley, you should be ashamed of yourself. You just claimed there was real news in MSM newspapers, like LAT and the philly papers.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  5. Good news!

    The sooner this happens to more newspapers, the sooner we can evolve the next generation of news gathering/reporting.

    Hopefully one that remembers what real journalism is about. (something about unbiased reporting of facts, and not just their opinions)

    Kenny (cc4e8e)

  6. It has been said:

    When your neighbor loses his job, that’s a recession. When you lose yours, that’s a depression.

    I would add the following:

    When a newspaper goes out of business, that’s justice.

    Dr. K (b99fd5)

  7. As a sometime student of history, can someone please tell me when, in history, were journalists unbiased. The only difference that I have found is that, prior to the invention of the J-school, journalists were quite open about their biases as were the newspapers that employed them.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  8. The gloating is off base. The papers, while suffering revenue drops (which are attributable far more to the Internet and a declining economy than any conservative backlash) are, as best as I can tell, not losing money on operations, they’re just not making enough to handle the large debt incurred in the buyout a couple of years back. And FWIW, the same thing appears to be the case with the Tribune and the NYT.

    The banks will lose, the current equity owners will lose, but I see nothing to indicate the papers won’t keep going… and with fewer (if any) conservative readers to provide any type of counterweight, just as much or even more liberal as before (why write for someone who ain’t reading the paper?).

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  9. The only things a local newspaper is good for are a) the comics, b) the sports pages (if you are so inclined), and c) local restaurant reviews.

    My local paper’s “news” section is essentially 90-95% crap from the AP. That I can get on line. The “help wanted ad” is a waste of ink – that I can also get on line.

    Newspapers continually alienate almost 50% of their potential readership. They have helped to cut their own throats. Are you seriously going to tell me that “conservatives” don’t occasionally look at the classifieds. Lower readership is going to hurt ad revenue, as more and more people figure why am I paying for this?

    A recent “editorial” in my local paper’s “editor emiterius” was bemoaning the incipient demise of Newsweak and Useless News and World Report because they had declining subscription levels for years. He did not get the simple point that whan all of the media is singing the same tune, it is not worth it to support a variety of “me too” publications.

    Newsweak has gotten so bad that they have absolutely nothing to say good about any Republican, and many of the covers in 2009 have been singing the praises of President Jughead.

    Piss off half of your potential customers and see how long you stay in business.

    Dr. K (b99fd5)

  10. Piss off half of your potential customers and see how long you stay in business.

    C’mon, that’s not even close to being true. The last I checked, National Review magazine doesn’t cater to liberals, and they’re still around. Just how many liberals listen to Rush Limbaugh? And boo-hoo, Newsweek doesn’t write things that appeal to conservatives. BFD.

    The key isn’t the number of people who don’t buy your product, the key is (1) having enough people to buy your product and (2) having a cost structure that matches your revenue. The problem for newspapers is that their cost structure was based on pre-Interest days and hasn’t come down far enough fast enough. Please don’t delude yourself into thinking that advertisers have pulled ads from Newsweek because of their liberal bias.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  11. MSM = Bankrupt = Priceless!

    J. Raymond Wright (e8d0ca)

  12. No, steve, they have pulled their ads because the circulation is down. The circulation is down because of (1) their bias, and (2) the fact that you can get the same content from any number of sources for free.

    National Review has a target demographic that they serve; they do not purport to be unbiased reporters of the news.

    However, Newsweak and Useless News and World Report pretend to be unbiased reporters of fact. That sham does not pass the smell test. You don’t hear conservatives bitching about how a “Fairness Doctrine” applied to newspapers would be needed to bring balance; conservatives are happy to say: “Look, we know you’re biased, and we simply will not buy your product”.

    And if you cannot see the difference, then you are denser than I would have believed possible.

    Dr. K (b99fd5)

  13. To elaborate on what Dr. K said:

    Newspapers used to have a larger audience. They scaled up their operations because they had larger revenue. The papers became obviously biased. Conservatives stopped buying them (along with general decline of readership due to internet and tv, etc). The newspapers did not scale down their operations. They’re losing money and for some reason, can’t figure out why.

    Conservative talk shows and newspapers have always been that way. They wear their bias on their sleeve and do not hide it. They’ve always targeted conservatives and haven’t alienated any of their readership.

    This stuff is pretty simple.

    Newtons.Bit (489fda)

  14. Dr K –

    You are right on target. I worked in subscriber marketing for many years, and my mantra was that liberal and conservative revenue is equally valuable, and that we needed to be careful not to talk down to either side. I was mostly shouted down and told to my mind own business.

    My least successful (and most expensive) campaigns were those targeted to high demo, heavily conservative ZIPS. They would actually take the time to return a response piece telling me to stick my liberal rag up my ass. Advertisers would always ask why we couldn’t deliver more of those households, and we would bullshit them and tell them “Oh, our research shows us that they are single copy buyers.”

    There are other factors, to be sure, contributing to the demise of newspapers. But we put a big can of whoopass on ourselves when we stuck our fingers in the eyes of people whose eyes we needed on our ads, and whose subscription dollars we needed in our coffers.

    Steve –

    The success of conservative media is really pretty simple. The audience has money, they are willing to spend it on something they find value in, and are very much in demand to advertisers who value response much more than raw audience numbers.

    Based on the failure of Air America, and decline of the magazines and newspapers that go left, the liberal segment of paid media does not deliver for the advertiser.

    Matador (8d0e3b)

  15. This was unfortunate, if not wholly unexpected news. As much as our esteemed host documents the biases shown by The Los Angeles Times, the question, “Who will replace newspapers?” has yet to be answered.

    Television news is no less biased than the newspapers, and is arguable moreso. The “Rathergate” incident is simply the best documented case, and the one with the best outcome, but the bias is rampant. THe major networks send the same, small group of correspondents across the world to broadcast from Abu Dhabi or Singapore or Ramallah, but they’re just the talking heads, and the news is gathered by local stringers of unknown and unknowable quality, ethics and biases, or doled out by governments. I had early hoped for the 24-hour cable news networks, but they are no better, and repeat the same ten stories over and over and over again. If Fox is better than the others, it’s only because their on-air women have better legs.

    I much prefer to read the news than hear the news, because that enables me to go back and check something I might have missed. That’s a personal preference. But there’s no particular medium that shows any promise of being better able than the great newspapers of being able to investigate things, of having people actually digging for stories, and of being able to present them decently.

    Our newspapers are not perfect, but there’s no particular reason to believe that we’d be better off without them.

    I can’t remember where I saw this, but someone noted that it would be cheaper for The New York Times to provide every subscriber with a kindle than to deliver the print edition to him for a year.

    The adjective intense Dana (3e4784)

  16. The esteemed Mr Fikes, future editor-in-chief of The Los Angeles Times, wrote:

    But where will the real news come? Not every city has a Patterico, or Dana.

    Even the cities with a Dana aren’t getting much news reported by him! I’ve “broken” exactly one story, the political party affiliation of two Luzerne County judges who were indicted and convicted on corruption charges, and it earned me my one and only Instapundit link. Nice, but hardly full-service journalism. Our esteemed host does an excellent job documenting the foibles of his hometown newspaper, but he isn’t actually reporting any news.

    The free lance writer for the Allentown Morning Call who covers the Jim Thorpe Borough Council and School Board meetings has broken a lot more news than I ever will.

    The Dana who isn't a journalist (3e4784)

  17. You’ll see the rise of internet-based Wire Services.

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  18. and with fewer (if any) conservative readers to provide any type of counterweight, just as much or even more liberal as before (why write for someone who ain’t reading the paper?).

    Your understanding of basic business concepts is obviously sorely lacking – I worked on the national sales side of the MSM for years, and while targeting a lucrative slice of an audience demographic is a worthwhile goal, you do not deliberately piss off a sizable part of that same segment. Not to mention that much of the upper management of the top echelon of the top 25 advertisers in this country are not exactly pointed – headed liberal scolds; they’re businessmen, they don’t appreciate being told 24/7 that they’re really just a bunch of neanderthals. Regardless of the value of your media vehicle may be to their products, other options eventually emerge, options without the noxious biases. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the MSM grew accustomed to getting it’s way on every media buy, for lack of any viable alternatives. The game is over, but only the fossilized remains of the MSM don’t appear to hear the fat lady singing.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  19. He did not get the simple point that whan all of the media is singing the same tune, it is not worth it to support a variety of “me too” publications.

    Like Time magazine lecturing us on who’s responsible for the recession, and giving us a list of the usual suspects. To the cramped intellects at Time, this stale recitation of cliches is creative journalism.

    Nature abhors a vacuum, and the MSM grew accustomed to getting it’s way on every media buy, for lack of any viable alternatives. The game is over, but only the fossilized remains of the MSM don’t appear to hear the fat lady singing.

    I’m constantly amazed at how dense these people are. Have you read about the various schemes by which newspapers would conspire to make their sites charge for Web content, setting standard rates? That would violate antitrust laws, so the fossils who back this scheme want an antitrust exemption.

    They have no clue how to compete on the Web so their response is to make the Web like print (a doomed idea), and keep their old monopoly. And I find it vastly amusing that the fossils who back this scheme themselves, uttering fulsome praise for the importance of journalism, don’t write anything worth paying for.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  20. Bradley, I’ve always felt that if the newspapers had actually attempted to charge a nominal fee for most of their content ten years ago they wouldn’t be in the position they currently find themselves. You have to establish a value for your product – when they established that baseline at zero, you can’t put the genie back in that particular bottle. The reality that they actually thought that their internet revenues would make up for the print – only shortfall was also foolhardy, as the only real inventory on a paper’s website that’s of any value is the home page, and that’s an extremely limited inventory model to begin with.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  21. Dmac,
    Some newspapers did charge for their content, such as the San Jose Mercury News. I was one of those customers, and I also subscribed online for the WSJ for years. I valued the Mercury News’ tech coverage and the WSJ’s business coverage and unique place in business journalism. So in some cases, a paid model might make some sense. But you really have to deliver. Even so, the paywall stops many potential readers, so advertisers don’t like it.

    And today, newspapers have cut their staff and scope of reporting so much that very few would pay to read them online. I certainly wouldn’t pay for the eviscerated Mercury News or the WSJ, which asides from being Murdoched, failed to break the Madoff story after being tipped off, and was cowardly on the Stanford scam — discovered by one of those mere bloggers who write for free.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  22. […] Hello to everyone from Patterico’s! Be sure to catch The College Politico at CPAC this year. addthis_url = […]

    The College Politico » Blog Archive » Philly Newspapers File for Bankruptcy (f24158)

  23. Dr K: your insults notwithstanding, I agree that circulation is down, but conservatives give themselves far too much credit; the number of people like me who dropped Newsweek because of its content pale to the number of people who dropped it because the content can be found elsewhere for free.

    NB #13: part of the reason they can’t figure it out is because they cling to the idea/ego that their pre-internet audience was due to demand for Page A1, and not the comics, sports, classifieds and movie listings; they can’t accept that for many readers, the front page was something you had to get in order to get the stuff you really wanted.

    If/when they get their act together, they could have a profitable business model, a liberal product aimed at liberals (and the fewer the number of conservatives, the less lip service they even have to pay to being ‘balanced’). That it didn’t work on radio doesn’t mean it can’t work in print.

    steve sturm (9a4560)

  24. It didn’t work on radio because the major media organs of this country are hopelessly biased towards the Left – why on earth would consumers gravitate towards a continuing redudancy of media choices? You continue to evade the simple business dynamics of the equation here.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  25. I am a widget manufacturer. I am one of one hundred widget manufacturers. Ninety of the widget manufacturers make widgets with kanuders. Fifteen of the widget manufacturers make widgets with kerfunkles. Half of my potential customers want widgets with kerfunkles. I refuse to put kerfunkles on my widgets because I don’t like kerfunkles. My business starts to collapse. So I blame the people who want kerfunkles and don’t want kanuders. Makes sense to me.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  26. Clearly, clearly! we will have to subsidize the Hitchcock Widget Corporation, because people who buy widgets with kerfunkles are putting the kanuder workers out of work. The United Brotherhood of Kanuder Workers must contact their minions representatives in Congress. After all, some 17% of kanuders are manufactured in the United States, while all kerfunkles come from China.

    Also, we have to boycott WalMart, which buys only Kerfunkle-based Widgets.

    Dana the Union Man (3e4784)

  27. Comment by steve sturm — 2/23/2009 @ 10:27 am

    Here, in your own words, are the reason for the demise of major newspapers where you say:
    “…part of the reason they can’t figure it out is because they cling to the idea/ego that their pre-internet audience was due to demand for Page A1, and not the comics, sports, classifieds and movie listings; they can’t accept that for many readers, the front page was something you had to get in order to get the stuff you really wanted…”

    They will fail rightly because they refuse the evidence that has always been right in front of them:
    The single biggest customer response to a change in the newspaper (and newspaper people know this) will be to a change to the comics page.

    Their egos block their intellect in dealing with the problems that they themselves have created.

    If that is how we can see that they deal with their own self-interest, why should we be persueded that they have any better ability to deal with the problems that are in society in general?
    Therefore, why should we read them once they have demonstrated that they have no special insight into the problems that beset their readers?

    As long as display and classified ad revenue was rolling in, there was no need to address the structural problems that existed within the news-room.
    Without that revenue stream, all Hell has broken loose, and the weakness of the basic business-model can no longer be denied.
    The great question is: What to do about it?

    AD - RtR/OS (9d1a46)

  28. ‘We’ don’t need to read them, if you’re defining ‘we’ as conservatives or anyone else looking for something other than a cheerleader for the liberal agenda. But that doesn’t mean that liberals won’t read them… and pay money to read them.. and sufficiently so to let them make a profit.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  29. Is the NY Times still worth less than the value of its real estate?

    Press Sec. Gibbs is a portrait in incompetence.

    JD (677a23)

  30. Is the NY Times still worth less than the value of its real estate?

    Yes, the value of the corporation is less than the value of its real estate and less per share than the sunday paper but that is because of its high debt. Value of Real Estate + Value of Paper + value of other holdings = NICE $ NUMBER – debt = NOT SO NICE $ NUMBER.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  31. But that doesn’t mean that liberals won’t read them… and pay money to read them.. and sufficiently so to let them make a profit.

    OK, then prove it – when the NYT attempted to put their columnists behind a subscriber wall, they got hammered mercilessly, and dropped that experiment within the year. Salon was one of the first internet – only news and commentary sites that attempted to charge for subscriber access, and also failed miserably. On the opposite ledger, HuffPo is free, and pays next to nothing for their editorial contributions. If you’re of a liberal bent, why pay for the same exact content that you’re already receiving from literally thousands of free media sources?

    Until you can adequately address that question, your suppositions have no validity.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  32. What do I have to prove? Liberals ARE paying money to read the NYT, Newsweek, TIME and the LAT (it sure ain’t conservatives who make up their ad base, is it?). Does this adequately address that question, or do I have to dig up the ABC statements?

    that they’re not paying money to read stuff on-line is no surprise and no big deal, as far as I know, no conservative media outlet is making money charging for content online.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  33. Do I remember correctly that it would be cheaper for the NY Ties to send every single reader a kindle than it would be to print their paper for a year? That’s just amazing.

    carlitos (ebd4ab)

  34. None of those make-’em-pay manifestos pay much attention to the lack of MSM quality. Bias is bad enough, but getting things hugely wrong on a regular basis is even worse.

    Therefore, why should we read them once they have demonstrated that they have no special insight into the problems that beset their readers?

    Precisely! The self-satisfied leaders of journalism need to don sackcloth and ashes, make credible vows to reform, or the pews will be empty. As long as they pretend the problem lies with the public or the Web, there will be no solution.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (536d19)

  35. I find it interesting that many blame the demise of print journalism to the buy-out craze that swept through the media as it did other industries, and that it is the cost of debt-servicing (one earlier commenter either here or elsewhere, blamed this all on Reaganomics – no agenda-driven bias there), and not a revenue problem that leads to the current crop of Chapter-11’s.
    Please explain to me when the ownership of the NYT underwent a buyout?
    They might not be in Chapter-11, but that might be only through the good graces of Carlos Slim.
    They had to re-fi their Manhattan real-estate to provide working capital, and now the bail-out from Slim.
    They have alienated so many of their readers that their subscriber/reader base is a shadow of its’ former self, at the same time that competing technologies have drained them of their display and classified ad revenue.
    This is a company, and an industry, that has a business model that just does not work in this day and age.
    They are truly “Dead Men Walking”!

    AD - RtR/OS (9ed43c)

  36. the LA Slimes circulation troggs called the house this morning, trying to get us to come back to the weekend offer, which i believe the offered rate was $.75/week, introductory.

    i told the nice man that we had originally had that, but when their delivery people couldn’t find the house, we were switched to daily at the same price, which is where he tried to cut me off by saying they had taken their home delivery internal again, and that we wouldn’t have the problem.

    i then said that what i was trying to finish when he interrupted me was that the downtown staff then tried to send us to collections for not paying the weekly rate, so we dropped the subscription completely.

    that was when he started to get huffy, but he nearly lost it completely when i told him that we wouldn’t take such a poorly written paper these days, even if they paid us.

    he demanded to know why, and i laid out some of the larger in issues, and mentioned Patterico in particular as having an extensive list he might want to review: he told me i was “wrong”, at which point i smiled and said that attitude was exactly what was wrong with the paper, and one of the major reasons why we’d never be interested in anything from the Times, except maybe a loft when the Spring Street building was converted, and did he know when that might be scheduled….

    he was spluttering when i hung up.

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  37. That’s classic, redc1c4.

    SPQR (72771e)

  38. Liberals ARE paying money to read the NYT, Newsweek, TIME and the LAT

    No, they most definitely are not – we cancelled our Sunday NYT sub. a few weeks ago, and they immediately offered us a cut rate of 75% off what we were paying. That is not a viable business model, in any way, shape or form. As for the others, they’ve laid off the majority of their newsroom and advertising sales staffs (I know three former colleagues who just got laid off from Newsweek and Time), and all are currently teetering close to insolvency as going media properties. WaPo already tried to put Newsweek on the block previously, and Time’s publishing properties are in a tailspin, with only four titles currently making any money for them over the past few years – People, Teen People, Real Simple and InStyle. That’s it for the entire publishing division these days.

    as far as I know, no conservative media outlet is making money charging for content online.

    Have you heard of a little outfit called the Wall Street Journal? They pioneered the subscription wall on the internet, and it’s still doing well, even with the recent economic pull- back. I mean, what the hell are you talking about?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  39. BTW, ABC statements are a total joke in the industry for some pubs like the newsweeklies, since they use cut – rate 3rd party discount brokers for the majority of their subscription accruals, which demonstrate to advertisers that no one’s paying anything close to the full rate for the publication, and hence is substantially less valuable as an audience.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  40. Dmac,
    Just to be clear, the WSJ’s news pages are not conservative. While its editorial pages are conservative, that’s not the main draw.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (536d19)

  41. OK, but I tend to think that one would not disagree that the entire paper carries a primarily conservative viewpoint, no matter within the edit or news pages.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  42. My only hope is a Conservative buys the NYT after it goes bankrupt and the Sulzberger’s go back to the linguist field from which they came.

    To think the family started as Republicans publishing a Pro-Republican paper in the TN.

    What dregs they have become.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (da3d2f)

  43. Why is there no major metropolitan daily conservatives like?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  44. Come to think of it, aren’t conservative newspapers going out of business even faster than their “liberal” rivals?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  45. “Why is there no major metropolitan daily conservatives like?”

    I like the NY Post.

    “Aren’t conservative newspapers going out of business even faster than their “liberal” rivals?”

    Name one. Hard to find many conservative newspapers outside of medium-to-small town America and I have no idea about them.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (da3d2f)

  46. #37. That’s classic, redc1c4.

    we aim to please!

    at this point i look forward to their sales calls, their customer service phone surveys,and, most of all, their mailings with the postage paid return envelopes. the most recent one i got had the year in review post printed out and returned in lieu of their subscription form.

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  47. Dmac,
    I haven’t read the WSJ regularly since I let my subscription last, about a year ago. But during the six or so years I did subscribe online, I found its news coverage was not especially biased to the right or the left.

    Of course, to those like the troll who are used to getting their leftist verities confirmed in other MSM outlets, that neutrality might appear conservative.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (536d19)

  48. “Hard to find many conservative newspapers outside of medium-to-small town America.”

    Hmmm. The NY Post, you mentioned.

    And what about The Washington Times.

    How much money has Murdoch lost on the Post?

    How much has Sun Young Moon thrown down the Washington Times sinkhole?

    It’s a free country. Probably the freest ever known.

    If conservatives don’t like the media, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  49. As for “liking” the media, the only people trying to control the ideology of the media are liberals.

    SPQR (72771e)

  50. That’s pretty much spot – on, Bradley. The commenter seems to think he knows something about the business operations of print media, but betrays his ignorance about the subject with each subsequent posting. Why do folks come on here and expect their fantasies about subjects such as this to go unchallenged?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  51. I see the Troll continues to cite made – up facts within it’s head…but perhaps they’re really coming out of it’s arse. That would explain the constipated cognitive patterns displayed.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  52. Dmac,
    If the troll is indeed a journosaur, it is just now waking up to the destruction of its assumed monopoly. It is probably trying to eke out a living on such pathetic factual sinkholes as Truthout and Counterpunch.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (536d19)

  53. There are always openings at “Mother Jones,” Bradley.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  54. Hax 2 papers?

    Is that the best you can do?

    2?

    Well then the rest I guess are liberal.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (da3d2f)

  55. If the troll is indeed a journosaur,

    Perhaps it previously wrote movie reviews or “what to watch” TV summaries in the local daily in Terre Haute? No, that’s actually a city, not a town. Maybe Ipswich?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  56. I agree with the fan club on one point: my professional life shouldn’t be construed as any special qualification for commenting on anything other than the subjects I actually cover.

    For all you guys know, I am an editorial assistant on the aquarium gravel and cat litter beat for Aromatic Pets Monthly.

    Or maybe Soros pays me to keep you guys busy crafting witless ad hominem and “inside” homoerotic imaginings. If it’s the latter, I’m sure you can see that I’ll be getting a raise!

    Think about it. Only one of me, keeping so many of you spinning in circles.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  57. We are not spinning, Hack. You are. We are ridiculing you.

    There are important semantic differences.

    SPQR (72771e)

  58. Comment by SPQR — 2/23/2009 @ 4:05 pm

    Hackoff is good for muscle tone –
    constant shaking of the head, and rolling of the eyes.

    AD - RtR/OS (9ed43c)

  59. “We are ridiculing you.”

    George told me it doesn’t matter how I make you spend your time, as long as it’s wasted. He said I get a bonus if I can make you actually believe your time’s well spent. I wonder if the “ridicule” thing qualifies?

    Meanwhile, speaking of conservative attempts at journalism, what’s up over at Pajamas Media?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  60. The troll does seem acquainted with the memes at DK, TBogg, Sadly, No! and other totally non-biased embodiments of the best of journalism.

    And of course we’ve never heard *their* lines before.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (536d19)

  61. In one respect it is correct. Feeding trolls is a waste of intellectual resources.

    There was a legacy market that the LA Times could have hung onto just through laziness. I was a subscriber for 40 years. I remember when they endorsed Nixon in 1960. All they had to do was cover both POV. They did for a long time. It got really out of control in the 90s and I happened to be in New Hampshire for a year. When I came back, a lot had changed. Maybe it was the 1994 election that led to derangement.

    With the New York Times, I was a subscriber for as long as they had a west coast edition and when I decided to finally get them out of my house, it took real effort to get rid of them. I had made the mistake of agreeing to auto renewal via credit card. I had to cancel the card to get rid of them.

    They have had to really antagonize the half of their subscribers they lost. I know they had issues with online adverts and that but they would be in better shape if they had not driven away all those subscribers.

    Mike K (90939b)

  62. Aren’t the NY Times and LA Times outperforming most, if not all, of their rivals?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  63. Truth is, it would make my day, heck my week!, if the fan club fell into silence.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  64. “I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.”

    carlitos (ebd4ab)

  65. Mike K.
    The troll’s smug self-satisfaction with the MSM is an indicator of our problems. Consolation: If the troll really is in the MSM, with that attitude, it soon won’t be. It can join hacks like Jason Leopold, writing nutbag stories only the demented left will take seriously.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (536d19)

  66. I’d advise you to put your entire portfolio into the NYTimes and the LATimes.

    Since they’re doing so aces……

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  67. Notice how the Troll immediately answers it’s own posting, less than two minutes prior. It cannot survive without the vital breath of someone else noticing it’s rantings. Always great fun to watch the death throes.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  68. I’d note here that Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, is a group of local investors put together by Brian P. Tierney, to buy the papers from the McClatchy Company, which wanted to unload the papers in 2006. At $562 million, it seems that Philadelphia Newspapers LLC might have overpaid; they certainly created a debt structure that is unsustainable. Sounds like McClatchy was pretty smart in unloading the Philly papers.

    The Dana who doesn't live in Philadelphia (556f76)

  69. Mr Vobiscum asked:

    Aren’t the NY Times and LA Times outperforming most, if not all, of their rivals?

    Oddly enough, I didn’t know that going into Chapter 11 was normally considered “outperforming.” Live and learn, I suppose.

    The economically-challenged Dana (556f76)

  70. As you may or may not know, Brad, the L.A. Times isn’t bankrupt, it’s owner, Tribune Co. is, and that’s primarily because it borrowed to heavily.

    You also may or may not know that one of Tribune Co’s big themes was trying to make the LA Times appeal to conservatives. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about how that worked out for them.

    You may also be aware that the NY Times hasn’t filed for Chapter 11. It’s conservative rival the New York Sun collapsed months ago. Another conservative paper, The New York Post, has lost billions over the years and is only alive because Murdoch has provided continuous transfusions of cash made producing The Simpsons and American Idol.

    And what is up over at Pajamas Media?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  71. Now the Troll is reduced to calling other’s mocking comments by their given names, in a vain attempt to have someone, anyone, notice his schizophrenic musings. The Troll is slowly having the oxygen sucked out of him – watch the writhing to increase in intensity.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  72. You’ve got it wrong, Dmac. I’d love it most if my fan club fell silent.

    It’s pretty funny, though, that you think that referring to me as “the Troll” and “it” means you’re not hanging on my every word. Forrest Gump could see through that one.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  73. Oh, if something else fell silent…..

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  74. Creative destruction.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  75. TdJ, Eric.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  76. But don’t get the wrong idea. Silence is my first choice, but I’m perfectly happy to observe the workings of my fan club’s troubled minds. I love that Dmac posts in secret code! That’s so perfect for him.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  77. But it was too much to ask for, that silence. Still nine minutes is nine minutes.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  78. And there must be many, many pairs of socks at that other “blog.” Perhaps other places, as well.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  79. Comment by Eric Blair — 2/23/2009 @ 8:01 pm

    Believe me, the people that post every other post for days on end are the ones who value silence the most. Truly, they are. You just have to believe me.

    It is pretty amusing, though, that the very ones who think abbreviations are some kind of secret code are the ones who don’t bother to read blogs for more than a few hours, on average, before responding. Actually taking time to familiarize oneself with a blog before jumping right in with MY comments, which are of course the MOST important on any blog, is such a waste of my valuable time. 😉

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  80. Ormilsawtlm – Get out of my way son, you’re usin’ my oxygen.

    carlitos (ebd4ab)

  81. hours = minutes, really

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  82. NOYK, I think it has to do with why a person posts, truthfully.

    Some folks like to pick fights in a safe and anonymous fashion. Most of the TdJs are like that.

    Others are curious about other points of view.

    Still others like the humor or (God forbid) subject matter.

    But I have noticed, among my students, that many people send e-mails without thinking—writing things they would never dream of saying in person. Much like people do when behind the wheel of a car, perhaps.

    Blogs seem very similar to this.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  83. Eric, ding ding, prize 4 u.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (da3d2f)

  84. I’m a goddamn marvel of modern science.

    carlitos (ebd4ab)

  85. Have you been tricked by technology, carlitos?

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  86. Every week at my workplace a free local newspaper is left next to the front door. The throwaway is full of local news, most of it trivial, uninteresting and very provincial to anyone residing more than 5 miles away. But it manages to be delivered without pause or delay, and it always contains a surprising number of advertisements.

    There’s a saying that “all politics is local.” Maybe the same thing applies to the world of the media, in which ma-and-pa publications that are aimed at small towns or the suburbs—or the alternative free press originally aimed at the hippy crowd in major cities—will somehow manage to hang on, if not even thrive.

    Another thing: the one and only major newspaper in San Francisco has been operating on a relatively meager budget for years and years. The resources put into that paper have always been well below the amount poured into papers like the NY or LA Times or the Washington Post. In spite of that, the paper in SF still has been hemmoraging.

    So if even more reductions in staffing and other expenses occur at the bigger-budgeted newspapers, does the experience of the SF Chronicle indicate that still won’t do the trick?

    newsosaur.blogspot.com, January 2009

    Recession? Secular decline? Not here, say the publishers of small-fry newspapers.

    Although sales for the newspaper industry as a whole fell an average of 15% in the first nine months of 2008, revenues fell an average of 2% for papers under 100,000, according to data just published by two trade associations representing smaller publishers.

    The survey of small and medium newspapers is the first ever undertaken by the trade groups, which are the Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA) and the National Newspaper Association.

    “Local advertisers continue to value the hyper-local news and desirable local audience provided by community newspapers,” said SNA president Nancy Lane in a press release. “Community papers are affected by the current economic downturn but they are not in a crisis. In fact, there are some that are showing growth.”


    _________________________


    Like most publishers, the [San Francisco] Chronicle has been whittling away at its staff for the last few years, dropping the headcount in the newsroom to 260 today from 400 in 2007, according to Michael Cabanatuan, a reporter who is president of the newspaper’s chapter of the California Media Workers Guild.

    With the staff 35% smaller than it was two years ago as the result of some year-end buyouts, the paper has 0.7 journalists for every 1,000 of circulation, or well below the old (but now widely discarded) rule of thumb that a paper ought to have one journalist for every 1,000 subscribers.

    It would be a relief if that were the end of the cutting. But it’s hard to believe it will be, inasmuch as the newspaper is said by knowledgeable sources to have suffered an operating loss of approximately $75 million in 2008 on top of unabated operating losses in every year since Hearst bought it for $600 million in 2000.

    Add together the purchase price and the ongoing losses that Hearst has been subsidizing with profits from its other media operations and the publisher, conservatively, has put more than $1 billion into the newspaper with no hope of a profit in sight. The bulk of the money was spent before 2008, when the economy took its worst turn in more than 75 years.

    Mark (411533)

  87. Remember, this is first and foremost a credit crunch. The decline in economic activity became a plummet because car dealers, home builders and newspapers could no longer borrow money, period.

    That happened to smaller newspapers years ago — many never were able to borrow at attractive rates. And so they have been forced to rely far more on cash flow to sustain and grow operations.

    At the same time, smaller and local newspapers are even more vulnerable to competition from the Web and often have few, if any, investors prepared to cough up cash to get them through lean times.

    Whatever you might say about the political bias of news, you really have to be spinning like a teacup at Disneyland to believe that papers are going down because conservatives don’t like news.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  88. I have a feeling that the local 7 – 11’s running low on hand lotion these days.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  89. Nothing keeps you revvin’, Dmac, like 7-11.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  90. Well I don’t wanna break up the meeting or nothin’, but ormilwastlm is somethin’ of a cunt, ain’t she DMac?

    carlitos (ebd4ab)

  91. It’s getting lonely.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  92. So ronery, daley?

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  93. Mark,
    There’s a saying that “all politics is local.” Maybe the same thing applies to the world of the media, in which ma-and-pa publications that are aimed at small towns or the suburbs—or the alternative free press originally aimed at the hippy crowd in major cities—will somehow manage to hang on, if not even thrive.

    There’s a lot of truth there. Local is important, because it literally speaks to people where they live, and because by definition it’s not commodity news available on every major news service.

    And beyond newspapers, there’s a vast mostly unexplored country in Internet media. As it happens, in my day job I wrote about one of those Internet media ventures, called Chumby.

    I can’t predict whether Chumby will be a success, but it has attracted positive feedback from early adopters. It’s the kind of venture new media types should be looking at — the ideas that print-loving, Google-hating Luddite leftist journosaurs like Pete Osnos just don’t get.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  94. Is the NY Times still worth less than the value of its real estate?

    It’s stock costs less than its Sunday paper, if that helps.

    Pablo (99243e)

  95. Ask most American conservatives whether the news media favor liberals and they’ll answer emphatically yes. Ask them why conservatives fail to produce news media they like, though, and they’ll insist that conservatives can and do produce them.

    Consider that U.S.A. Today and the WSJ are by far the biggest newspapers in terms of circulation. Together, they account for more readers than the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune combined.
    My view is that USAT and WSJ are indistinguishable overall in terms of political framing, from the other papers, but the conservative view is that the NY Times, LAT and Wapo represent a liberal establishment. You don’t here them say that about USAT, WSJ, perhaps because these papers don’t emphasize politics at all.
    Still, it’s clear that the top of the table in terms of reader choice, is the WSJ and USAT, two papers that only the most paranoid of conservatives would consider tools of the liberal establishment.
    So when conservatives say the “MSM” is liberal, what they’re really saying is that SOME of the mainstream media is liberal. Clearly not all of it is. And when we look at the newspaper biz, we find that, in fact, the portion that represents the liberal establishment is smaller than the portion that does not.
    So why the complaining?
    Why can’t conservatives celebrate the fact that Americans have a choice: they can read the NYT if they like the liberal establishment thing, and the NY Post if they don’t? Americans can read Wapo if they like it, or Washington Times if they don’t.
    It’s beyond debate that that’s just not good enough for many American conservatives. What’s clear, then, is that their problem isn’t really one of balance: the newspapers they like face no market barriers or government restrictions whatsoever. Readers are absolutely free to choose.
    So what actually irks conservatives is that papers like the NY Times and LA Times are better and are considered the “papers of record,” meaning they set the standard that other media from television to radio and the Web follow. They have more in-depth coverage.
    The New York Post isn’t the paper of record, nor is the Washington Times. Nothing has stood in the way of their becoming papers of record, but they have failed to do so. Nothing wrong with that, but conservatives should at least be honest about why that is. The Post focuses on sensation, which is what it’s readers demand, especially when they know they can rely on NYT to provide hard, objective news. (Not perfect, but the best, or certainly better than the Post.) The Post, for its part, is a much livelier read than NYT and, from a conservative view, has more columnists that see the world the way they do.
    Conservatives seem to have a debilitating sense of ideological entitlement. As I’ve shown, it’s not that conservative news isn’t available because, unquestionably, it is. It’s that liberal news is ALSO available. That’s what burns them: They really cannot abide by the idea that people are producing media that contradicts their world view.
    This attitude shows up on this blog in spades. I might be less dismissive of the fan-club responses I get here if all other liberal commenters weren’t treated to exactly the same mix of strawmanning, weirdly imagined homoerotic taunts and junior-high name-calling.
    I get a sense that the fan club just cannot bear to hear an opposing view. It really hits them hard. Somewhere, somehow, they developed the sense that liberal comments are deeply threatening to their identity.
    So it’s just not good enough that the New York Post and Washington Times and Wall Street Journal exist. As longer as there’s a single liberal voice anywhere, some conservatives are just not going to be able to be happy.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  96. Blah blah blah I know everything blah blah blah I know exactly what people who don’t think like me think blah blah blah those hateful free-speech-hating hater conservatives blah blah blah and I’ve proven time immemorial I’m right about everything blah blah blah.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  97. Eric – I didn’t mean I was getting lonely. I meant Hax was getting lonely. On cue, another cry for attention.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  98. Thanks Eric. Even the fan club is beginning to notice how obsessed with me you are.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  99. One of the consistent “hits” against the product within the pages of the LAT is a lack of comprehensive local coverage; that the mgmt expressly pushes national and international coverage at the expense of local coverage (don’t even ask about covering state government).

    AD - RtR/OS (9ed43c)

  100. HV, you deserve the label an internet friend of mine uses judiciously: you are indeed a prat.

    Are you genuinely an adult, or just play one on the internet? I work with students every day, and you act precisely like a snotty trustifarian who is earning a “D” in a class that they consider so easy they don’t need to study.

    Why not take your own advice and go on a hiatus? See how much everyone misses you?

    If you are right, why, everyone will plead for you to return. For the rest of us, we would appreciate not seeing your usual antics.

    After all, I suspect you have quite a bit of homework to finish up, probably on your “blog.”

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  101. Oh, and please start carrying on again about how you weren’t insulting Stash. Patterico loved that before.

    And you are never, ever wrong.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  102. Hey, daley, I was trying to quote from “Team America.”

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  103. I get a sense that the fan club just cannot bear to hear an opposing view. It really hits them hard. Somewhere, somehow, they developed the sense that liberal comments are deeply threatening to their identity.
    Comment by Hax Vobiscum — 2/23/2009 @ 10:03 pm


    Blah blah blah I know everything blah blah blah I know exactly what people who don’t think like me think blah blah blah those hateful free-speech-hating hater conservatives blah blah blah and I’ve proven time immemorial I’m right about everything blah blah blah.
    Comment by John Hitchcock — 2/23/2009 @ 10:08 pm

    Pretty funny, John. Ironically, if the resident dishonest commenter had bothered to, you know, actually read this blog for any length of time, he would have seen civil conversations right here between liberals and conservatives pretty frequently (including but not limited to two very intelligent and respectful liberals in particular – and if he’d been reading he’d know both their names). But reading would cut into his posting time, I believe. And for him, others’ listening to him is more important than his listening to others, even if his opinions are much more ignorant – and I mean that in the best possible way – as a result.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  104. Heh, that didn’t work. Try this instead.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  105. John, maybe this one is better:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gQtp2Pg_1I&feature=related

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  106. Comment by John Hitchcock — 2/23/2009 @ 10:33 pm

    Ah, Patterico’s Pontifications – come for the spot on media and political commentary, stay for the troll-mocking. Too funny.

    Might this be almost as apropos to this current mock-ee, though? (hanging around hogging comment threads then saying “Are you obsessed with me?” hahaha)

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  107. Yup, NOYK. I think that there is a lot of that going on the last few days.

    Call it gleenmania.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  108. Hey No One, that’s a cool link. Thanks

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  109. Hey No One. What happened to those liberals?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  110. I’m reminded of some Arkadian speaking at the top of his squeaky voice “but I am relevant!”

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  111. A certain resident dishonest commenter apparently thinks I’m going to do his homework for him. How amusing.

    Comment by Eric Blair — 2/23/2009 @ 10:37 pm

    Eric,
    A bit embarrassing to admit, but loved that whole movie. (Except the, how shall I put this, most NSFW scene which I refused to watch.) But the rest had a lot of hilarious bits in it – the puppets of course made it funny.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  112. NOYK, you have to give Matt and Trey this: they don’t care a bit about political correctness. And they detest hypocrites…and deal with them by heaping scorn upon such people.

    But yes. Puppet coital activities are disconcerting, to say the least.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  113. When I was younger my hometown paper’s Sunday edition had an eight -sometimes twelve- page opinion section. This last Sunday it was four.

    On the other hand, after years of blithely ignoring it they are addressing the city’s pension problem.

    Alan Kellogg (14f94e)

  114. It is indeed funny to watch the troll’s feeble attempt at disinformation, actually claiming that media are not disproportionately leftist. And for some reason it’s fixated on imagined “homoerotic” taunts.

    Of course, anti-conservative bias is not the only or even the main reason newspapers are foundering. Technological trends are destroying newspapers’ legacy monopoly. But the contemptuous dismissal of conservative concerns doesn’t help. At a time when newspapers need all the subscribers they can, they’ve alienated a large percentage of the population.

    With the LA Times, that bias was compounded by an East Coast-centric bias and a New York Times envy. Mere local coverage wasn’t considered that important. It shows in spotty coverage of the city and frequent geographic errors of the sort Brady Westwater has documented in excruciating detail.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  115. Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 2/24/2009 @ 4:41 am

    Pet peeve time…
    A local columnist for the OCRegister, once described looking out his office window (in Santa Ana) to the Palos Verdes Peninsula “north of here” (or words to that effect), and also described Santa Barbara as being “north” of Los Angeles.
    When corrected in an email (even suggested he might use “up the coast”), he was – unsurprisingly – non-responsive.
    It is as if they have no idea how to read a map, or look up dates in history (another peeve, another time).
    As JD would say, it’s all about teh narrative.

    AD - RtR/OS (8de25e)

  116. 1) IU is a joke.
    2) Let’s use a subjective criteria about a subjective topic, and ignore the actual content, so we can come up with some way to claim the media is biased towards Republicans.
    3) We refer to the county that IU reside in as the Peoples Republic of Monroe County.
    4) Guaranteed that Bucy and his research associate are to the Left of Castro.

    JD (ad7346)

  117. Brother Bradley – An accurate description if there ever was one. I still think I am deserving of a promotion to Deacon in the C.O.R., if not Grand Poobah.

    JD (ad7346)

  118. Oh dear Lord God. I read the article.

    I feel like trying to sell those two anything at all.

    We could make coin, friends. Serious coin, if we phrase the con to their supposedly objective viewpoint.

    Nigerian banking scams to raise funds for ACORN or something.

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  119. Eric – They are probably considered conservatives at IU. That was really a sad pathetic attempt to push a bullshit meme on their part.

    JD (ad7346)

  120. No, that’s not how you do it! You bail them out, then they declare bankruptcy. Like AIG.

    The point is the spending.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  121. Back in the days when newspapers still had a chance to hang on to their subscribers in the transition to online, the LA Times had an Orange County section that could never seem to identify anything going on in the county. That was when the Register was doing a good job of covering local news and the Times finally pulled out and changed its regional sections to something they called the California section. At the time, we were entering the battle with the local city council and could never get the Times interested. The Register, and especially Steve Greenhut, was helpful in getting the word out.

    One big example of the Times’ cluelessness was the building scandal with the OC treasurer who had been investing in bond derivatives, sort of like the present crisis. A local CPA had written a couple of pieces in the Register warning that it was too risky for a public fund. Nobody listened and then the CPA, named Moorlach, ran against the Treasurer, named Citron, for the county Treasurer office. The Times endorsed Citron and dismissed Moorlach’s warnings. Six months later, Orange County declared bankruptcy.

    Moorlach is now a county supervisor and warning about county employee pensions. Nobody is paying any attention.

    Mike K (90939b)

  122. JD, you are hereby promoted to Deacon Deluxe in the C.O.R.

    I think the study is one more example of academic cluelessness in studying media bias. You may recall I dismissed another study claiming to find liberal media bias. My reasoning in both cases is the same: Accuracy is the most critical component of journalism, yet neither study measured it.

    There is no substitute for the hard work of slogging through stories and checking the facts, as our esteemed proprietor does so well.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (b2bf3e)

  123. I e-mailed the author of that press release asking when his article on university professor bias comes out. I’m sure they have opinions on Reagan’s IQ and other well known topics, as well.

    Mike K (90939b)

  124. Thank you, Brother Bradley. It is a title I believe I have earned.

    JD (ad7346)

  125. At least not everyone is suffering in the newspaper bankruptcies.

    Thank God somebody is still doing well.

    Er. Maybe not God, actually,

    Mike K (90939b)

  126. Don’t worry, Dr. K. Your response will be of the “don’t listen to the Right Wing Noise Machine” type.

    Honestly, I work with these characters daily. They think they are nice people, so their opinions must be nice, too. Because only bad people would be one sided.

    Sigh.

    Besides, look in the Chronicle of Higher Education. University professors are not biased politically! A study reported it, so it must be true!

    Eric Blair (9671e0)

  127. Here is the story of John Moorlach, the Cassandra of the OC bankruptcy

    Moorlach believes editors at both papers were mistaken when they framed the story as political rather than financial. “It was very difficult on me professionally because I was dealing with people who had no financial expertise. I started believing you could lead reporters to water, but you couldn’t make them think. They should have assigned it to a business reporter. Somebody who understood what I was talking about.”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (a2d4c6)

  128. San Francisco Chronicle joins the club. Bummer! Some really great folks work there.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  129. EB, while I was studying for a planned hist CLEP a decade ago on one of my attempts to re-enter college, I bought a hist text. I was amazed to find out all the things Reagan did that fit into my econ text. I was also amazed at the fact nothing Reagan did pulled our terrible economy out of the serious troubles. Our economy did that all by itself, Reagan’s actions didn’t matter.

    Okay, I wasn’t surprised to find the liberal agenda being spouted in college textbooks.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  130. I wasn’t aware “Journalism” still existed. It appears FAUX reporting, fabrication and promotion seems to be what we get.

    The SF Chronicle will go south by April- May

    Typical White Person (240772)


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