Monday, May 9, 2011

the cost of newspapers

It was announced last week that Aaron Kushner, a Massachussets businessman who made a fortune through Internet, was willing to buy the Boston Globe group for 200 millions dollars.

Just to refresh your memory: the New York Times bought the Boston Globe and its local branches, 15 years ago for 1.4 billion dollars. The powerful New York daily has been trying, for the last two years, to sell it, in order to make for its heavy losses. Still, the top management of the Manhattan publication must have been traumatized by Kushner's offer. Is it possible that the value of newspapers has gone down so far and so quickly?

Michel Lucas, chairman of Credit Mutuel has probably the same reaction. Four years ago, he bought the regional daily Républicain Lorrain for 80 millions euros. To day, he is trying to sell it through Banque Rothschild but cannot expect an offer exceeding 40 millions. It seems that the banker is reluctant to let appear such a loss in his assets. It is very likely that Credit Mutuel will wait until the retirement of Lucas to sell this dubious acquisition.

One of the major facts of the economy of the media is the downfall of the value of the newspapers. Amaury family made the same experience, last fall when they put le Parisien on the market. Good times are over and will never come back. It is much more profitable to invest in television or Websites. Soon, the newspaper industry will just be a branch of more prosperous television and Internet corporations.