(Kegs photo by Jeramey Jannene via Flickr. No endorsement by him of this posting is implied.)
Do the executives who manage America’s major daily newspaper publishing companies think they know what they’re doing? They’ll assure you the answer is yes. But how obvious does the evidence have to be before even they have to admit that the answer obviously is no?
My biweekly column at the ClickZ.com online marketing site provides sobering examples. Three years ago, if you had purchased $10,000 worth of beer and then got drunk each day ever since, the value of the deposits on the beer kegs would have given you a better Return on Investment than if you had investment that $10,000 in almost any U.S. newspaper company. Moreover, you’d have plenty of beer left and would have had a much better time!
Indeed, using today’s stock prices for those companies, buying beer and getting drunk night would on average have given you a ROI three times better.
Even worse, if you had invested in the McClatchy company, beer instead would have given a seven-times better ROI. Beer yielded a 12-times better ROI than the Journal Register Company. And beer toasted a 41 times better ROI than an investment Gatehouse Media. The executives of those companies are losing advertising, losing circulation, and losing the financial community’s confidence. The executives can hardly make a case for being financially sober. In their cases, the ’empties’ aren’t the beer kegs.
What does it take to spotlight that these companies’ managements aren’t on the right tracks. What examples do I have to tap?