Monday, February 23, 2009

David Byrne: No More News

The Tribune Company owns the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Cubs, a bunch of TV stations and some other regional newspapers. They’re just barely holding on since being acquired in a takeover a year and a half ago by Sam Zell, a real estate billionaire. After the buyout, the Tribune’s editor left, as did a lot of its journalists and columnists. They reportedly weren’t happy with some of the changes that Zell had instituted. The paper had also acquired a relatively large debt. My guess is that after Zell bought the paper, his purchase price saddled the paper with debt; or rather, the paper’s employees — since its board members, like Zell, managed to avoid any personal debt.

I saw similar things happen in the music business in the early 80’s, as record companies merged and were taken over by other companies (Warner Bros. was absorbed by Time and then later, AOL). The result was that the companies suddenly ended up in debt, and, in order to show a profit every quarter, had to forget about their standards and musical instincts. [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

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