Newspapers' Free-Fall (Illustrated)

trbbit5.bmp

What you're looking at above is the five-year stock chart for the Tribune Co., which owns the Sun-Sentinel. Its stock is worth about $3.7 billion now, down about half from its high in 1999. They're trying to complete a deal to go private with Chicago billionaire Sam Zell that I think Zell is going to lose his ass on.

No gloating at the Miami Herald, though. Here's the five-year chart for its parent, McClatchy:

mcclatchbit5.bmp

That's a grim plunge, folks, the worst of all. McClatchy stock was going for an all time high of about $76 a share or so a few years ago. Right now the same share is checking in at $13.31. You do the math. It's ugly. But if you think those two companies are alone, check this one out:

nytbit5.bmp

That's the New York Times company, which is now worth about $2.4 billion on the market, down from its all-time high of about three times that.

That's all. Just wanted to cheer you up. It's the Pulp's mission during this holiday season. There is but one real hope for these companies: Finding a way to truly "monetize" the Internet while gradually shedding the flabby ways of the past. At the same time, they have to remain relevant -- and that means doing kick-ass journalism, not telling people how to buy an XBox 360. In other words, there's hope in this catastrophe -- and opportunity.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman