Monday, January 12, 2009

Prediction: No buyer for the Miami Herald... it will most likely merge with another South Florida newspaper

Douglas A. McIntyre peers into 2009 and predicts the Miami Herald will merge with another paper.
The Miami Herald is already for sale. It is owned by McClatchy, a company which simply may not make it. McClatchy had operating income of $40 million last quarter, but its debt service was $34 million. In addition, McClatchy revenue dropped 16% for the quarter. Based on the figures the company has posted over the last several months, the top line is dropping more rapidly, especially at its Florida and California properties. Classified sales are down over 30% in these regions. For the six months ending last September, daily circulation at the Miami paper was down 11.8% to 240.000. A large daily newspaper operation that covers a huge metro area is simply too expensive to run with this enormous audience loss. The Herald won't be sold. There is too much risk here for a buyer. The most likely fate of the paper is that it will be merged with the Ft. Lauderdale paper or some other media in south Florida.
Jeff Taylor hopes the McClatchy papers in the Carolinas get spun off as standalone papers, or else part of a smaller group. Nice idea, but don't forget corporate has a $2 billion debt and needs to suck all the money it can out of every paper.
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Anonymous said...

Newspapers that believe they'll survive because "people will always want information" forget that although people always want music, turntables, 8-tracks, cassettes, and now even CD's are no longer delivering the tunes.

People still want to watch old movies, but I don't see VHS players for sale at Best Buy, and I don't see Blockbuster renting tapes out either.

People buy new cars even in today's downturn. Even if the domestics sell econoboxes, consumers still want the best for their buck. Even the last remaining dominance in big pickup trucks is being lost to Toyota.

Anonymous said...

No matter the exit strategy -- merger, sell-off, reduced publication days, on-line only; the revenue isn’t going to bounce back for the printed page.

Ad revenues will only decrease as more effective, and less expensive alternatives spring forth.

MNI can’t transform into a new business model since in has no capitol for innovation.

That’s a fact that Weaver and Schrag choose to overlook.

Anonymous said...

Just a few days ago, one of our posters told us about his personal experience of working for a smaller successful paper that was sucked into a larger company. When the parent company fell on hard times, his papers’ profits were just part of a failing company’s bottom ‘red’ line. His post was a good insight into identifying that sucking sound being heard in newsrooms today.

Also, as far as the N & O being separated from the herd, as long as they remain a leftist mouthpiece, they are still part of the herd. BOO Freaking MOO

Anonymous said...

"... it will most likely merge with another South Florida newspaper" The writer does not know the South Florida area very well. There is only one other newspaper,The Sun Sentinel, which is owned by the Chicago Tribune who have enough troubles of their own. The Sun Sentinel has no room to print the Herald.