Sunday, November 14, 2010

Billionaire Shops In Bargain Basement, Finds Matrimony

In case you missed the news over the summer, Newsweek, that venerable weekly national news magazine rivaled in its venerability perhaps only by that other national news weekly, Time, recently sold for $1.

I had no idea that the new owner, billionaire Sidney Harman, did his shopping at the 99¢ Store.

That startling development has me wondering: If Newsweek sold for $1, how much would the Santa Barbara News-Press go for?

Of course that $1 figure is misleading. Newsweek reportedly hasn't made a profit since 2007 and lost about $30 million last year. The new owner undoubtedly took on a lot debt that Newsweek had accumulated. Sort of like, "I'll give you my car if you'll just take over the payments."

My guess is that the News-Press probably has very little if any debt. But at the time of the July 2006 meltdown, the News-Press reportedly had a circulation of 41,000. Most recent circulation numbers released last month have it at about 25,000 circulation. That's about a 39 percent decline according to my math.

The other startling development on the national level is the marriage of Newsweek with The Daily Beast, resulting in an entity now known as The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. (And you thought "AOL Time Warner Company" was a mouthful.)

Isn't that sort of like the News-Press getting together with Noozhawk?

Hopefully, the Newsweek/Daily Beast merger won't have as ugly an outcome as that of AOL and Time Warner. But then again, there is a Beast involved.
© 2010 by Craig Smith and