02:56 PM

Buying newspapers? Give the hacks a raise . . . then fire the executive managers

From Business Week Online:

Newspapers: Buys Among the Battered


"If prices of newspaper companies continue falling, it's likely that private- equity investors or activist investors will step in as catalysts for change at the newspapers. On Dec. 1, three private- equity firms (The Blackstone Group, Providence Equity Partners, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) announced that they're considering the purchase of Knight Ridder. If a sale of Knight Ridder happens in the near term, Peters believes it could lead to shakeups at other newspaper companies, as managements may realize the need to do more for shareholders."

What about doing something for the long suffering journalists? If I were a buyer, the first thing I would do would be to give the journalists a 30 per cent pay raise--and fire their executive managers.

Without the hacks you have nothing to buy except for a lumbering and antiquated legacy culture and infrastructure.