Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Dec. 30-Jan. 5 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

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35 comments:

  1. Here's to 2014 being a great year for everyone.

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  2. This is an intriguing article about a Harvard Business School case study.

    HBS Cases: What Warren Buffett Saw in Newspapers
    http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7417.html

    Buffett bought Media General's smaller newspapers. He left their larger newspapers off the list because, according to the article's author, "Unlike regionals or big-city papers, small-town newspapers don't have a lot of competition or good substitutes."

    He goes on to write, "As Buffett himself quipped around the time the Media General deal (which did transpire) was announced, "In Grand Island, Nebraska, everyone is interested in how the football team does. They're interested in who got married. They're maybe even more interested in who got divorced."

    So, it makes me wonder, would Buffett think developing a strategy of infusing content from a national newspaper into a local newspaper make sense? I don't think so. In fact, I think he'd probably think it's a really dumb idea because of what he knows about consumer behavior in local markets. If I'm in Hattiesburg, MS, Great Falls MT, or St. George, UT, do I really want more national content filling up my paper just so that my paper looks like it's got more stuff in it and it turns out to be stuff that's not really relevant to me and that I can get anywhere else BETTER and for FREE?

    This is just another reason why the flawed Butterfly strategy will soon be exposed as an empty Hail Mary pass attempt at helping USA TODAY keep their lights on. Its death will be painful. If USA TODAY can't sell it's brand (barely 30 years old) on it's own, why would anyone think that shoving it into a local newspaper (who's brand has been around for 75+ years) is an intelligent business strategy?

    Good luck Gannett. You're going to need it.

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    1. "...it's brand....it's own....who's brand..."
      Three apostrophe catastrophes in a single sentence!

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    2. I think you're unclear on the concept. All of those "local" newspapers are already duplicating a lot of effort and resources on commoditized wire copy that adds little value.

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    3. Typical - 8:49pm isn't intelligent enough to formulate a coherent argument disputing anything 1:32p has stated, so they become a sarcastic $15/hr has-been copy editor still trying to get out of Gannett before they are laid off in a few months - if they haven't been already.

      We all get the point 1:32p is making - even if we disagree. And that's what matters - not some petty copy editing.

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    4. 11:05 PM - Sorry, but one forfeits his right to snark if he himself makes grade-school errors.

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    5. That knocks out most of this board, 12:09.

      Speaking of non-arguments, 11:05, yours takes the cake.

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  3. Interesting: seems that insiders like Todd Mayman, David Lougee and our good friend Maryam Banikarim were busy in December, selling off their shares... http://seekingalpha.com/article/1921221-gannett-3-different-insiders-have-sold-shares-this-month

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    1. Stock prices at 52-week highs tend to have that effect.

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    2. No, it's not about a high. Such moves are based on a look at the future, and multiple sales strongly point to insider concerns that the high price is not sustainable in the midterm or longterm running. So, what's wrong?

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    4. Well, they could be doing financial planning diversitication. It's not good to have all your eggs in a single basket. No matter what you believe about the company. Double your money, take some chips off the table my uncle used to say.

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  4. @2:24pm - Yes, and they will continue to sell because they do not have confidence in their own strategic vision (if you, in fact, call their thinking, decision-making, and overall business judgment anything close to a "strategic vision.") There may be other legit reasons to sell off that many shares (i.e. pay off debts, buy a fancy new house, send kids to college, etc.). But, the idea that you'd rather take the quick buck now rather than see the fruits of your vision (Belo, Butterfly, etc.) come to life over the next 2-3 years strikes me as very odd and telling to what even the so-called senior leadership team thinks about the future of Gannett.

    This is why they are in the game. It's their shares and their money and they can do whatever they want with it. They've been lucky enough to get the positions they have, so it is what it is. I always pay more attention to what people do (their behavior) versus what they say. These people talk a big game about the future of the industry and Gannett and what Gannett wants to do and be, and blah blah blah. Well, any reasonable person can look at this behavior and draw the same conclusion that most would.

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  5. Wilmington News Journal didn't get Eagles big win in the paper? Philly papers had it. Did Courier-Post?

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    1. Not sure what paper you saw, but the Eagles win was in the paper..It was promoted across the top of the front page...

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    2. No. Deadlines were too early. Great service to readers.

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    3. Because Philly papers know to extend their deadline and meet the needs of fans. The fact that Wilmington did not do so reflects poorly on management. The same issue comes up for this week's Sunday editions with the Eagles playoff game beginning 8:10 Saturday night. How many people bypassed the News Journal to pick up an Inky or Daily News this week? If Wilmington thinks everyone is just going to go online for coverage, they are wrong.

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    4. Charles Everett12/31/2013 10:40 AM

      Earth to those who still think Gannett is a newspaper company: Newspapers no longer emphasize breaking news.

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    5. Yes. It was in the paper delivered to my home.

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    6. Yes, Courier-Post had it and sidebars,

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  6. They are all hardworking, world class managers who deserve every penny.

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    1. A-hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! World class managers standing on the backs of the hard working employees who prop them up is what you should be saying! Their employees deserve the payday!

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  7. happy new year from dale carpenter to phx, he'll be posting conditions of new forced contract. they'll be short on pressmen and not many loaners coming to help ! good luck !

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    1. I can operate your press lines in phx, You over paid pressmen need a good kick in the pants, Dale count me in , just let me know when you need me in the warm weather, I will bring my golf clubs also.

      HP

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  8. Lots more handed out at end of year by board of directors. This is just tip of iceberg.

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  9. Who can argue with a stock up 70% from a 12 month low? If loving this team is wrong, I don't want to be right!

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    1. LOL. Who can argue? You can start with the poor schmucks who owned the billions of GCI market value that vanished over the last decade, never to be seen again.

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  10. Should have bought when it was at $1.75. Kick my ass!

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    1. Shudda sold when it was $95. Still kicking mine.

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  11. The stock isn't going up because the newspaper business is getting stronger.
    The increases is because Gannett is moving away from print and buying into broadcast.

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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