Newspapers can’t afford ‘readers’ platitudes

The New York Daily News was not my cup of tea over the last few years, but I respected the men and women who worked there as competitors and some as friends.

So the news on Monday that 50% of the editors and writers were being laid off hurt.

The paper had the misfortune of being owned by Mort Zuckerman — its latest benefactor — at a time when he became ill. His family and estate disposed of the paper because there was no love of newspapers or the heavy losses that needed to be made good by his estate.

Unfortunately, that’s what many newspapers have become today. Vanity projects for the rich and wanna-be famous who can fund these companies. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, Warren Buffett has a string of papers in the Midwest.

So the Daily News was sold to a private equity firm masquerading as a publishing house for $1 by Zuckerman estate, but even with that low-ball price the PE firm cut jobs and outsourced production tasks in an attempt to make money.

The plan to build a coast-to-coast newspaper chain failed and now the pieces had to be broken up.

Fortunately, I work for The New York Post. Rupert Murdoch and his family are newspaper people for decades and are committed to their future.

I feel for the good people who work at the Daily News, but I have little regard for people who rue its demise, but have not bought a newspaper in 10 years because they get it free online.

Newspaper people can’t eat on web hits alone. Ad dollars from print are needed to sustain the paper. So if you want to help a paper survive, buy the damn thing and put down your phone or tablet for a while.

Advertisements

Bezos, Schultz and their pure hypocrisy in Seattle

The hypocrisy of Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz is so absolutely delicious.

The blowback Amazon and Starbucks are giving the city of Seattle over a new tax being levied on employers to help fund homelessness programs in the city is classic “do what I say, not what I do”. Continue reading

Street sees “storm” coming at Amazon

Well, I guess my writing on Amazon and its duplicitous entries into our homes here and here were a good tip on what the market thought of the stock.

A week ago shares were trading at $1,574 today they will open at about $1,360. Continue reading

Now the Fed joins the Pols on the sidelines in DC, stocks will soar

Fed chief Janet Yellen slammed on the brakes Wednesday when announcing a pause in rate hikes.

The move sent markets into a spasm for a brief moment as the VIX (or fear index) fell to its all-time lowest level and bond yields jerked higher before leveling off. Stocks had the most muted reaction moving slowly higher.

So now we have all of Washington on stand still as stocks will move higher. Nothing coming from Congress to worry equities and the Fed will not be able to raise rates again this year.

As far as paring back its balance sheet, we will see what happens there on Friday.

The feds will release the first look at Q2 GDP, which by most estimates will come in at 2% plus or minus a tenth of a point. This is not the growth Trump is looking for, but since none of his economic initiatives have been implemented or really discussed it’s just more of the same for the last eight years.

Since I’m a betting man, I believe the Q2 GDP will come in at 1.7% and be revised down in the coming months. There’s just no reason to believe that Americans are spending their meager salaries on anything but the essentials.

But let’s look at the latest White House/Russia/Election news story, which will be covered by the NY Times or Washington Post, and let the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq hit a new all-time high. Keep Trump on the defensive, bottle him up in a Cabinet pissing match, so the rest of America can continue to suffer from neglect.

No need for stimulus or middle class tax cut or infrastructure spending. No, keep Washington on the sidelines and Wall Street will reward the 1 percenters with higher returns.

Will Bezos muzzle Trump?

What could be the most devastating event in the early stages of the Trump Administration?

Well there’s the stronger dollar that could torpedo his bringing jobs back to the US.

There’s China and whatever trade policy or currency manipulation charges he wishes to put on the table or just another call from Taiwan that he takes.

But I believe that all pales in comparison to what could happen very soon.

I’m taking a flier here without any sources telling me this, but I believe in the next few weeks Amazon’s Jeff Bezos will come in and buy Twitter.

The move will be for the sole purpose of ending Trump’s ability to communicate directly with the American people. Trump has used Twitter to advance his policies, to shame CEOs and to skewer his critics very effectively.

As most know Bezos is a staunch Democrat and a strong Hillary Clinton supporter. His Washington Post holding was found to be shilling for Clinton throughout the presidential campaign, with a negative Trump story on its cover — mostly above the fold — almost daily.

Bezos doesn’t need Twitter from a business perspective, unless he wishes to fold it in to his media holdings. No this purchase would be to control the narrative from the President-elect and force him to adopt a more traditional communication strategy.

Since Bezos and other tech executives met with the President-elect early in December at NYC’s Midtown Trump Tower things have been quiet from the Silicon Valley crowd, however I don’t believe Trump has enough charm to quell the unrest Bezos and others feel about the election.

Surely Bezos can find the money to buy Twitter in the couch cushion in his office, since he added $7.5 billion to his worth in 2016.

As I said this is pure speculation on my part, but I can see it happening sometime soon.