Hedge funds killed the newspaper industry, not the web

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/29/parasitic-weakness.html


Why moose put money in hedge?

I used to go to the weekly brown bag lunches at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center with many major journalists and media people. The excessive profit demands of the new ownership that started coming on strong from the 1980s onward was a consistent thread in those conversations. Many newspapers and magazines were profitable, just not profitable enough for the majority stockholders. They like to milk the cash cow until it dies and then sell the carcass.


I remember hearing there were some interesting counterexamples, and maybe the Philadelphia Enquirer was one?

Ok, can we get Millennials to kill of hedge funds?


Private equity != hedge funds

Anyway for anyone who actually pays attention, hedge funds have not been great money makers since before the web took off.


Seems to work out just dandy for the managers

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Really its just one of @doctorow’s boogey man words here

I confess I haven’t read the linked piece so I’m about to just repeat my old prejudices.
Two things wrecked the newspaper business: The first was the loss of classified advertising – other advertising to a lesser degree – to the web.
That could probably have been dealt with, at least to a degree. However, at or about the same time, dying businesses – newspapers – were being sold for premiums, financed by debt. In that situation, serving debt, as it were, required doing everything that would prevent dealing with the loss of advertising – cutting staff, crapifying the product.
And by now, for better or worse, I think fewer and fewer people even consider any of the corporate media to worthwhile sources of news. And they’d be right: The BS percentage of corporate media reportage is awfully high. Make that too high. It’s at a point where the corporate media are doing a serious disservice to the nation.
Whether more healthy outlets for reporting would have prevented that is a question.
Too: What we have now – an extractive economy – is not a good thing for the nation, which is to say us. Great only for parasites.

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