If there is an argument to be made that the Sulzbergers should sell the New York Times, you’ll find it aptly summed up in John Ellis’ article that proposes that Google should buy the newspaper. I agree with Ellis that the Sulzbergers should cash out before the moron running it puts it into Chapter 11 through his sheer incompetence. Ellis dances around this issue â€” but the point is that Pinch Sulzberger isn’t fit to run the night shift at a convenience store. Yet another example of where a Lucky Sperm Club member gets trounced by the free market.
But let’s look at the underlying idea of Google buying the Times. Does it make sense?
From an ideological standpoint, Google’s founders and the Sulzbergers are part of the Moveon.org/Michael Moore wing of the Democrat Party. On that basis, it would make sense for Google to rescue a fellow traveler.
Yet Google is publicly traded and one must assume that its shareholders would actually want something of value to come from an acquisition. The question then arises: What does the NY Times offer that Google doesn’t already have?
Distribution? Ha. A marquee name? Not these days. A profit? Just kidding.
If Google does purchase the Times, it will be the flip side of the AOL Time Warner merger fiasco. In this instance, Google is the real deal while the Times is a dead horse that just hasn’t been buried yet because Pinch is too busy beating it.
Some falsely accuse capitalist Rupert Murdoch of making acquisitions based upon political ideology. I’d contend that he buys where he sees profitability. If the NY Times had offered the same revenue potential as the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch would have pursued it instead. Murdoch made the calculated decision that the Journal was a far better deal and he will use it to destroy what’s left of the Times.
As for the Sulzbergers, they should be on the phone begging Google to buy their albatross. Won’t happen. And that’s a win for Google’s shareholders.
Are there dead tree media plays to be made by Internet ventures like Google and Yahoo? Of course. However, those opportunities are scarcer than online media opportunities. Better to buy Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report or The Onion’s satire than a dying newspaper.