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Morgan: Springtime for Media Industry

Adding to my sense of meta, understandably, was The Deal's being acquired in September by TheStreet Inc. For better or worse, we Dealers got hit with the whole M&A schmeer -- the rumors that precede a transaction, the layoffs that come with it and a sense of dislocation while adjusting to a new office and a new regime.

It's good to see that The Deal is already back to hiring, back to building an editorial team to cover the M&A resurgence many believe is just ahead. Although I'm tempted to temper any optimism by cautioning we're not out of the woods yet, the very phrase brings back memories of a perpetually troubled media company I covered a couple of decades ago.

The company's long-awaited turnaround had so many promising but ultimately false starts that analyst after analyst invariably ended his research report, after updating investors on whatever progress the company had made, by noting they're not out of the woods yet. This went on for so long that a particularly contrarian analyst couldn't resist beginning his report with the supposition: "Maybe they like it in the woods?"

Having lived with this metaphor for quite a while myself, I can state unequivocally it's not always fun living what one's covering. And vice versa. But I hasten to add that being in the woods of disruption is always challenging, often stimulating and never boring. Besides, what better place to observe those green shoots?

Written by Richard Morgan in New York
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