Meg James on the very late Friday (before a holiday weekend, no less) announcement that News Corp. would write-down up to $1.4 billion due to the decaying value of its publishing assets:
The company’s U.S. publishing assets also contributed to the reduced outlook in future cash flow. Six months ago, News Corp. revealed that the publishing unit would have suffered a $2-billion loss last year if it had been a stand-alone company. Previously, News Corp. has written down the value of the Journal after News Corp.’s $5-billion acquisition of parent Dow Jones & Co. in 2007.
This situation does not seem tenable. You have to wonder how long it will be until even The Wall Street Journal — which has the highest circulation amongst U.S. papers — decides to stop the presses (literally, and go digital-only).
After reading this, I must say that I have a lot of respect for not only what BuzzFeed is going after, but how they’re going about it. My favorite part is about respecting the readers. It’s amazing how many sites/publications fail to adhere to this simple and crucial principle.
To that end, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti:
First of all, we don’t publish slideshows. Instead we publish scrollable lists so readers don’t have to click a million times and can easily scroll through a post. The primary reason to publish slideshows, as far as I can tell, is to juice page views and banner ad impressions. Slideshows are super annoying and lists are awesome so we do lists!
Report Declan McCullagh and Greg Sandoval:
The U.S. Justice Department’s legal pursuit of Apple for alleged e-book price fixing stretches the boundaries of antitrust law and is likely to end in defeat.
To be clear, that’s just the case against Apple. McCullagh and Sandoval note that the case against the publishers themselves seems much stronger. Given the evidence laid out right now, they’ll simply have a hard time proving that Apple was colluding in this from the beginning.
The fact remains that what this really is about is Amazon versus the publishing industry. We’ll see how this plays out but Apple appears to be more of a (albeit willing) pawn.