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The McClatchy Company Message Board

  • kunjamukkid kunjamukkid May 27, 2007 9:24 PM Flag

    Content is King - Kessler comments

    Andy Kessler at Opinion Journal
    "The value is there: Newspapers aren't in the printing business, they're in the ad business."

    "Last I checked, the Star Trek Holodeck, despite a Wikipedia entry, is still fiction. No one is teleporting a newspaper to your home anytime soon. Unlike music, which can be copied once and stolen a million times, newspapers live in the material world. Thankfully, as an author, it's the same for books. Even a 30-inch screen can't match the readability of what cheaply spits out of a printing press. I really believe that the copy-protection mechanism for newspapers is their consumer interface, in the form of ink spurted on newsprint. Newspapers are scrambling to embrace the Web. Paid subscriptions, blogs, it's all a grand experiment on how to monetize their expensive news-gathering organization. But thanks to a form that's hard to duplicate, newspapers still have time."

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    • Then they'd better get crackin' on segmenting taht localized content. Fact is, the management of their bulk material costs have taken precedent over serious ground-level news gathering and having a distinct opinion.

      Nowhere is this more true than in Idaho with MNI's capitol city flagship, The Idaho Statesman, biggest in the state and as milquetoast as anything coming out of Sunday school. They go out of their way to be bland and unoffensive....it's killing 'em.

      • 1 Reply to willardwertz
      • I agree with Kessler's comment. It forms the basis of my interest in this stock. Newspaper readership (and, resultingly, advertisement) is being overtaken by the internet junkies, but there remains a base of people who were bred getting their news the old fashion way. Though not growing, this can be the base for some solid cash flow for many years, even decades.
        Problems I see for MNI -- MNI might try too hard to be something that it isn't -- an internet news and advertising company. In other words, they might give up milking what is left of what they know how to do and go head long into an internet "catch up" phase. Or ... As you point out in your e-mail, cheapen the flagship product.
        I am also concerned with debt covenants as the 2d and 3d quarters should be bad news (with which MNI has not had sufficient time to address).
        Any thoughts?

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