This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

This Just In: Value Investors Value Newspapers

Editor's Note: Jon D. Markman writes a weekly column for CNBC on MSN Money that is republished here on TheStreet.com . He's also a regular contributor to RealMoney , TheStreet.com's subscription site. If you'd like to see all of Jon Markman's RealMoney commentary, click here for information about a free trial.


Derided as irrelevant antiques in recent years, newspapers have made an ironic comeback. Senior Bush administration officials didn't call bloggers, after all, to complain that war critic Joseph Wilson had a wife at the CIA. Instead, the officials attempted to co-opt The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Washington Post, along with Time and NBC.

An odd compliment, certainly. But even that attention is refreshing, as newspapers have grown more accustomed to neglect, most notably from Wall Street. Shares of major national newspaper chains, such as The Washington Post (WPO) and Gannett (GCI), are down 10% to 30% in 2005. All have lagged the broad market, as circulation and ad revenue are in freefall.

On Tuesday, the largest institutional holder of Knight Ridder (KRI) made the ultimate cry for help, telling executives via a public filing that they had failed so miserably to unlock the company's value that they should sell it immediately.

How have we come to this crisis of investor confidence, and what are the prospects for this integral piece of our democracy? Consider the following perspective.

Shrinking Readership, Revenue

It's a random Saturday morning, and after an evening of watching a baseball game on television, reading about it online and talking about it with friends over instant messenger, I pad out to the to the rain-soaked steps in front of my house in my socks and eagerly grab the newspaper. I tear the wet plastic sheeting off the rolled up paper, snap off the rubber band, and plop down in front of a fire with a cup of coffee to read it.

Even though it's only The Seattle Times, not quite one of the world's top 10 newspapers, this uncomfortable sock-soaking adventure is counted as a great pleasure. I've spent a decade writing and editing online, but scanning the newspaper -- skipping my eyes over headlines without having to do any clicking, imagine that -- is still something I value and enjoy. In fact, if news were only available online, the home delivery of a full-blown, hard-copy version of the product might be seen as a fantastic innovation. And at 35 cents a copy, subsidized massively by advertising, it's a real bargain, too.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,708.60 +247.28 1.50%
S&P 500 1,956.11 +29.00 1.50%
NASDAQ 4,460.2290 +77.3820 1.77%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs