This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

The Deal: Black, White and Red All Over The Internet

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The newspaper industry has either its latest class of potential saviors or fresh meat.

Jeff Bezos' $250 million purchase of The Washington Post came days after John Henry agreed to pay The New York Times (NYT) $70 million for The Boston Globe.

Henry could be seen as a white knight by virtue of his scorebox with the Boston Red Sox. As owner, he broke an 86-year curse when the team won the 2004 World Series, a tempting metaphor for a newspaper business turnaround.

In the post-Steve Jobs world, however, there are few examples of digital entrepreneurship on par with Bezos and (AMZN - Get Report) Bezos' wealth, and the stature of the Post, greatly overshadow Henry's purchase.

"What this is signifying is that the digital transition, although having moved along quite a bit at the Washington Post, still has five years or so of very tough times ahead," said Outsell Inc. analyst Ken Doctor.

"I think that's the number one reason the Grahams sold."

It has been tough to call the turning point for newspapers. There have been a number of ambitious buyouts that led to Chapter 11.

"There are people, especially in the last seven to eight years, who have bought into the newspaper industry believing that it was at a bottom," Doctor said.

Sam Zell led an $8.2 billion buyout of Tribune in 2007, a year after Bruce Toll and Brian Tierney bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from McClatchyfor $562 million. Both wound up in bankruptcy.

"It turns out that they are not distressed assets," Doctor said, "but it's a distressed industry."

A fundamental question is what kind of owner Bezos will be.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B - Get Report) has been an active buyer of papers, Doctor noted, but has not changed much of their operations. It has closed a paper, but has left local management in place under the oversight of the Omaha World-Herald's Terry Kroeger.

Aaron Kushner, who made a fortune selling an online business and in greeting cards and who previously pursued the Globe, has taken a more active role since buying the Orange County Register.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
WPO $699.00 -1.24%
AMZN $683.85 3.68%
BRK.B $146.89 0.97%
AAPL $93.64 -0.11%
FB $118.57 0.84%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs