Using up part of my 15 minutes …

The Strib’s emergence from bankruptcy got me some face time on WCCO-TV last night, where you’ll see I have a mug made for radio. Thankfully, I did not have to show my kisser for a Morning Edition debrief with MPR’s Cathy Wurzer.

By the way, Bill Hudson is taller than I thought.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/29/2009 - 09:05 am.

    Good segment with Wurzer.

    While Strib debt level might be high, in practical terms as long as the owners owe the money to themselves, it’s irrelevant. It makes sense for a private corporation to maintain a high level of debt owed to the owners of the corporation because the interest payments the company makes on the debt are deductible to the company. If the debt were off the corporate books, incurred by owners individually, the money would be repaid to them as dividends, out of corporate profits which would have been taxable to the corporation.

    This financial structure can be somewhat illusory when we look at profitability. Because the payments to owners are in the form of interest rather than dividends, they appear as expenses rather than profits. This kind of financial structure is typical with professional sports franchises which are usually privately held and which for several reasons find it beneficial to find ways to understate their how much money they are making.

  2. Submitted by Louis Petersen on 09/29/2009 - 03:34 pm.

    Interesting insights.

    One thing I am wrestling with though. Before radio, tv and newspaper had a complete hold on information and could therefore charge advertisers premium rates because of this monopoly. Advertisers didn’t complain too much because the advertisements generated more revenue than the cost of placing the ad.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot so to say, and advertisers have more options. But is that a good thing? Advertisers now have to spend much more money to reach the same eyeballs.

    I am not convinced the banner ad concept works. I rarely read the banners on this website. I never, to be honest, send you a dime because I have two kids and don’t have extra $$$ (I wish I could). So I am basically a freeloader.

    Does your model bode well for the future? I don’t think so. I can’t see your site working long term. I think you get a bump because competing media wants to know the dirt on the Strib. If the Strib goes, I assume a lot of your audience goes with it. You can depend on contributions, but if you write on thing offensive to the contributor they move on to another site cursing you in the process. Not a very dependable model.

    I saw a comment somewhere on this site that made a good point. What is the revenue stream you have that is different that the Strib? There really is no difference. So when you predict the demise of the Strib, you are in a sense predicting the demise of your own industry.

    A friend said once that they internet is great because if someone publishes something untruthful it will be exposed! The ‘birther movement’ proved that is a crock. People will go to the website they with information they agree with.

    You will just have a mishmash of people with opinions and no true journalistic training.

    Sorry to be brutally candid, but there it is so they say.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 09/30/2009 - 07:14 am.

    Much as I mourn the decline of newspapers, what frightens me more is that I don’t anything out there that will replace them. Websites like are great, but they just don’t have the resources to do the national and international reporting the Times does, and to a much more limited extent, the Strib once did. What we are seeing in the media is the replacement of news coverage by opinions. And is it a coincidence that with the decline in news coverage, so much opinion out there seems to be based on prejudice rather than fact?

  4. Submitted by Louis Petersen on 09/30/2009 - 08:38 am.

    Good points Hiram!

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