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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Death of Print Continues -


Borders may get kicked off the NYSE, Newsweek and Time are writing "news for smart people", Google closes down its print ad program and The New York Times is getting an economic stimulus package from a Mexican.

You can not make this stuff up.

Borders Book Stores received a letter December 31st, warning that if the publicly traded company can't get their stock price above ONE DOLLAR in six months, the company will be delisted. Borders stock fell below $1 December of 2008.

Time and Newsweek are generating smaller, more serious, more opinionated and more liberal publications.

They are targeting a narrow niche of readers, in print and on the Web, and not writing for the masses.

With cut backs and layoffs, the old levels of editing and degree of fact checking do not exist in today's lean, mean survival culture.

And finally, Mexican mogul(huh?), Carlos Slim, is kicking down $250 million to the Gray Lady, which could make him the largest shareholder of the
New York Times.

The hot-cash-injection will be used to refinance existing debt and will provide the company with increased financial flexibility.

Carlos, started his empire in the cigarette business, moving into telecommunications, taking control of Mexico's state-owned telephone monopoly.

"He transformed a state-owned company into one of the most profitable businesses in the country," said analyst Jose Coballasi of Standard & Poor's in Mexico City.

He is considered the second richest man in the world.

And this just in, Google has announced that it will be closing Google Print Ads as of March 31st.

The service launched in November 2006 was to deliver the client base of Google Adwords to the print industry. Google was able to attract 50 or so newspapers to the program.

In an effort to evade the slings and arrows of the few remaining newspaper owners Google released this:

"We believe fair and accurate journalism and timely news are critical ingredients to a healthy democracy. We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content and attract new readers online. We have teams of people working with hundreds of publishers to find new and creative ways to earn money from engaging online content. AdSense, DoubleClick, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Earth, Google News and many other products are a part of our significant investments to innovate in this space.
These important efforts won’t stop. We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers and publishers."

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