Thursday, September 10, 2009

$5 million bid for the Sun-Times

A bargain-basement bid of $5 million is reported for the Sun-Times (including its weekly papers). The company is in bankruptcy and any winning bidder will have to take over about $20 million in debt. Still, it's an incredibly low amount for a major newspaper company.

Weekly magazines take bit circulation hits

Weekly magazines have taken a bigger hit than their monthly companions, according to MediaPost. Only five of the 20 magazines studied in the analysis showed a year-to-year improvement. Among the hardest-hit were the National Enquirer, Newsweek and Time. MediaPost noted that the decline parallels that of daily newspapers, although in both media circulation has been better at publications with longer publication times.

Google to offer micro-pay system for print media

Add Google to the list of those developing micropay platforms that newspapers see as one solution to their declining revenue streams. The fact it's only one option available is highlighted as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has joined those newspapers delaying online delivery of some key stories that were printed in the paper version. The JS has long shielded its Packer Plus content. Now it's routinely delaying posting of its main story. I'd go a bit farther and shield its columnists and better features permanently -- which would still give it the city's best news site, but mean that anyone seeking some of the fringes need subscribe to the print. Of course, it's gotten rid of some of its best columnists and writers, so maybe there isn't enough to shield. And, of course, since it's Google (whose business practices are an online version of those of Microsoft) offering the system, many are still leery of signing up.