Nancy Pelosi Extreme Makeover Working — (Not Her Facelifts) Her Transformation from San Francisco Liberal Progressive to Kindly Grandma, Italian Catholic

By Mick Gregory

Newt Gingrich has exposed the lies of Nancy Pelosi and is calling her actions the worst example of political power and damaging lies he has ever experienced in his lifetime. Watch the new Democrat one-party system ignor Pelosi’s poison and turn it on the few remaining Republicans.

 

 

Recent Pelosi items in the news

Chris Mathews of “Softball” calls Ms. Pelosi “a knockout.” She is amazing looking for a 68-year-old.

Update: Feb. 25, 2009 (Morning after Obama’s first State of the Union address). 

Pelosi’s face- and eye-lifts are amazing, but her biggest makeover is her political image, from a progressive Democrat/socialist, atheist, wealthy resort owner, to a middle of the road, “working class” Catholic.

 

pelosi1

 

Quite a makeover for newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as her national image morphed from leader of the San Francisco liberal elite to Italian Catholic mom from Baltimore.

There was her photo-op return to the Little Italy neighborhood where she grew up as Nancy D’Alesandro, the mayor’s daughter. There was the visit to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, where they still recite Mass in Italian several times a year.

“It’s clear Republicans are reeling today based on her outreach to Italian Catholics who, as we know, have deserted the Democratic Party in the Midwest in droves,” said San Francisco power attorney Joe Cotchett, who was among those attending the Pelosi swearing in.

While the marathon events in the nation’s capital might have resembled a coronation, those most familiar with how Washington works said Pelosi’s time in the spotlight amounted to well-calculated politics that could help her move her agenda in her first 100 days.

“A lot of people don’t know much about her, so this is a chance to fill in her profile and biography so she doesn’t just become the San Francisco liberal,” said San Francisco consultant Chris Lehane, a veteran of the Clinton-Gore White House. “This is the one time when the press will be focusing on it.”

And it may be working.

According to the results of a Rasmussen Reports national phone survey of 800 likely voters, released Friday, Pelosi’s approval rating has jumped to 43 percent — up 19 points from November.

On the other hand, the same poll also found 39 percent of those surveyed still give Pelosi the thumbs-down.

Showing off: In politics as in movies, staging is all-important to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — and his inaugural was no exception.

Produced by Schwarzenegger family friend Carl Bendix, who has done the Academy Awards Governors Ball and other Hollywood events, and emceed by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, the Friday affair was Hollywood through and through — including a last-minute prop to help the gimpy governor.

–Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle

Keep a score card on the liberal mainstream media. Make note that there is never a word about:

Nancy Pelosi’s age.
The age of her children — in photo-ops it is Pelosi and her youngest, prettiest grand children
Her resort, Napa Valley vineyards, and high-end restaurants and use of non-union and illegal immigrant labor.
Her total support of partial birth abortion.
How she gained the votes from Democrats for first, minority leader and now majority leader.

Notice how the San Francisco reporters go with the spin, calling her a “mom” and not mentioning any of these items.

That’s why citizen journalists are filling the void.

The Shagged Sheep — One party PC journalism is here. Watch the attack on Mark Steyn

THE SHAGGED SHEEP Print E-mail
 

This is a long piece but it does have underage sex
and bestiality in it. So enjoy! — Mark Steyn

The other day I had an e-mail from M J Murphy, who blogs as Big City Lib,
saying only this:

I think you owe Dr. Miller an apology.

There followed a link to a post called
Steyn Gets Punked By 28-Year Old Literary Hoax:

Remember the kerfuffle between Mark Steyn and journalism professor Dr. John Miller
from a few weeks back? Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for “America Alone”
from illegitimate sources like the infamous Little Green Book:
Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.*
[*UPDATE: M J Murphy has quietly revised this paragraph,
and so the airbrushing begins

Actually, I don’t think Dr Miller has accused me of any such thing, though
I admit, given his shifting accusations, that I’m no longer quite sure what
he’s accusing me of. Just to recap, said “kerfuffle” arises from this passage
in a
review I wrote for Maclean’s of Oriana Fallaci’s final book The Force Of Reason:

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam –
for example, Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Blue Book” and its helpful advice on
romantic matters: “If a man marries a minor who has reached the age of nine
and if during the defloration he immediately breaks the hymen, he cannot enjoy
her any longer.” I’ll say. I know it always ruins my evening. Also: “A man who has
had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat.
He would commit sin.” Indeed. A quiet cigarette afterwards as you listen to your
favourite Johnny Mathis LP and then a promise to call her next week and swing
by the pasture is by far the best way. It may also be a sin to roast your nine-year-old
wife, but the Ayatollah’s not clear on that.

A cheap joke en passant. Indeed, insofar as I dwelt on the ovine fornication,
it was to suggest to La Fallaci that, even for us flagrant Islamophobes, it was
not perhaps the most useful avenue of attack:

I enjoy the don’t-eat-your-sexual-partner stuff as much as the next infidel,
but the challenge presented by Islam is not that the cities of the Western
world will be filling up with sheep-shaggers. If I had to choose, I’d rather
Mohammed Atta was downriver in Egypt hitting on the livestock than flying
through the windows of Manhattan skyscrapers. But he’s not.

And that’s it. That’s all I said. And no one would remember had not El Mo’s
sock puppets included the sheep-shagging line in the
dossier they submitted
to the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission. Whereupon Dr Miller …actually,
I’m not sure he is a doctor: He calls himself “
The Journalism Doctor”, but the 
title seems to be entirely self-conferred. Anyway, at this point, Doc Miller, Prof Miller,
Herr Baron von Miller or whatever he is got interested in the case and asked the British
Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal if he could intervene. Silly ol’ me assumed that he
wished to intervene to argue the cause of free speech. But no: he wanted to intervene
to argue that I was not a “responsible journalist”, and so it was entirely appropriate for
the state to censor me.
As Rory Leishman
notes, since this thought-police racket got going, “Most journalists have
either condoned censorship or cowered in silence.” Canadians who still value liberty should
know that, if they rely on anemic PC flunkeys like Professor Miller, they’ll lose their country.
At any rate, the BCHRT gave him the bum’s rush, so Prof Miller surfaced a few weeks ago and
kept returning to the subject of the sheep-shaggers line. His complaint is in an apparently endless
process of evolution. But let’s go through the story so far:

1) First, insofar as I understand his initial argument, he advanced the curious line
that the ruling from the Ayatollah was not widely cited, and therefore it was improper of me to use it.

After it was pointed out that in fact Khomeini’s views on the post-bestiality buffet,
child sex and other arcane points of Islamic law are known to many (especially
those 
on
the receiving end), a couple of weeks later he revised his line of attack:

2) Now his argument was that I’d concocted it out of whole cloth. The J-Doc declared
boldly that Steyn “gave no citation for the quote, and I suspect it was made up.”

In fact, as anyone who reads the passage above can see, I attributed it to Oriana
Fallaci’s book. The disinterested observer might conclude that Professor Ethics-Bore
had never so much as glanced at the offending article but had simply taken the Sock
Puppets’ word for it. So the E-Bore was obliged to revise his argument yet again – and
decided to accuse me of what he appeared to have done himself:

3) Now my sin was that I “clearly accepted someone else’s word for it”.
Evidently, it wasn’t all that “clear” when he was accusing me of making it up,
but a drowning ethics prof can be forgiven for clutching at straw men.

At any rate, that makes three different complaints. As I wrote:

That’s the great thing about the self-appointed “Journalism Doctor”:
When he diagnoses you, he provides his own second opinion.

Now, on Prof Miller’s behalf, M J Murphy has revised my crime yet again:

Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for “America Alone” from illegitimate
sources like the infamous Little Green Book: Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

As I said, the sheep-shagging passage is from a review of La Fallaci’s book in Maclean’s.
It’s nothing to do with America Alone. There is no mention of sheep shagging in
America Alone. There is no mention of any Little Green Book in America Alone.
There is, indeed, no mention of Ayatollah Khomeini in America Alone. Prof Miller
and Mr Murphy and their
enthusiastic chorus boys at Law Is Cool are welcome to
check for themselves.

But, leaving that aside and forgiving M J Murphy for confusing America Alone with a
book review in Maclean’s, if you return to the passage up above, you’ll see that neither
Oriana nor I refer to any Little Green Book.
We cite a “Blue Book” – or “Libro Azzurro”, in La Fallaci’s original Italian. That’s the
color we’re nailing to our mast. We’re singing the blues, and it’s you fellers who are
smelling the green. Indeed, the guy who brought up the Little Green Book is Prof Miller
in his
response to me. I never mentioned any green book. Like I said, I’d rather be blue.
So, if M J Murphy and the excitable schoolgirls at Law R Cool have proved The Little Green Book
is a “hoax”, the person who’s been “punked” is Professor Miller.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t describe The Little Green Book as a “hoax”. It would be truer
to say that it is a somewhat lurid and condensed version of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s work.
Nevertheless, if you read M J Murphy’s post, you’ll find that Marvin Zonis
of the University of Chicago declined to provide an introduction for it. Professor Zonis
is evidently regarded by M J Murphy as a greater authority in these matters than I am,
so please keep his name in mind.

However, as it happens, I didn’t take “someone else’s word” for anything,
whether it was the word of Oriana Fallaci or the compiler of The Little Green Book.
When it comes to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s views on sheep shagging, my gu
ide for many years has been a book called Resaleh Towzih al-Masael. The author is
a chap called …Ayatollah Khomeini. Let’s go back to the original offending quotation
from my Maclean’s book review:

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam –
for example, Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Blue Book” and its helpful advice on romantic matters.

Well, here’s a clue:

Hmm. Here’s another clue:

But how can that be? We all know: “There is no Blue Book.”
The Lord High Checker of Facts has pronounced.
As it happens, Resaleh Towzih al-Masael has been published in Iran in several editions.
But the most popular was the paperback edition published by Nashr I Sharia’t of Tehran.
It sold for 120 rials. It had some 350 pages, approx 5×7 inches, with a blue cover,
featuring a picture of its ever more famous author. A souvenir hardback edition marketed
as the perfect New Year gift was subsequently published by Rashidi with a plain blue cover…
almost every year this book is published in a different color. But many versions of the “Blue Book”
are still out there:

  

 

In the relevant passage in her book, Oriana recalls first seeing excerpts from the
“Blue Book” in 1979. That’s what it was back then: A blue book. The blue book
in revolutionary Iran. It certainly wasn’t a “little green book” as that wasn’t published till 1980.
So when she and I refer to the Ayatollah’s “Blue Book” we’re referring to that Nashr I Sharia’t
edition of the Resaleh. It was translated into English, unabridged, by J Borujerdi and published
in 1984 by Westview in London and Boulder, Colorado under the title A Clarification Of Questions.

I was given it a couple of decades ago by the Iranian gal I was then dating.
She had a copy of the pocket paperback with the Ayatollah on the cover, and once,
when she read out a bit to me, I expressed skepticism that it could really be that wacky. 
So a few weeks later she presented me with the English edition. As she explained, these
were not just some personal musings from the Ayatollah but a kind of moral compass for
the Islamic state. So I didn’t need to “accept someone else’s word for it” on having sex with
nine-year-old girls, because, like anyone else who’s taken even a cursory interest in the
subject, I’ve known for a long time that, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, girls could be legally
married at the age of nine. Article 1041 of the Civil Code states:

Marriage before puberty by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking
into interest the ward’s interest is proper.

“Puberty” is defined as “nine full lunar years” – although, in practice, girls as young
as seven can be married on the say-so of a doctor. The justification for all this is in the
highly elaborate rules of Islamic life. They may sound unlikely to M J Murphy or Prof Miller
but the Ayatollah’s “clarification of questions” doesn’t strike most devout Iranian Shi’ites
that way. Mr Borujerdi, the English translator, was an Iranian émigré living in Cleveland,
and he gave an interview about the book to David Remnick (now the editor of The New Yorker)
in The Washington Post in 1985. It’s not available online but M J Murphy and Prof Miller
and the Law R Cool nellies are welcome to go to their local reference library and check it out.
It’s the Aug 21 issue, page B1:

“I did the translation because it gives a very close understanding of the Shiite
view of the world,” he said. “The Bantam Press published a very slight version five
years ago called The Little Green Book’-just 6 percent of the original-but that was really
a joke book, to poke fun at Khomeini and debunk Islam at the beginning of the hostage
crisis. In Iran, this book is mandatory for every literate person, a kind of guide to living.”

So this is the real deal, not the sensationalist précis but a serious, scholarly 
“unabridged translation” designed to provide “
a unique picture of the belief structure of Shi’ism“.
Mr Borujerdi had no difficulty finding eminent academics to provide an introduction – namely,
Professors Mehdi Abedi and Michael Fischer of Rice University in Houston. But he also consulted
on the translation and interpretation with many other scholars, among them Professor
Wilfred Madelung of the Oriental Institute at Oxford University, Professor Wheeler
Thackston of Harvard’s Near Eastern Languages department, Professor William
Darrow of Williams College, Professor Vincent McHale of Case Western,
Professor Merlin Swartz of Boston University …oh, and Professor Marvin
Zonis of the University of Chicago. That would be the same Prof Zonis
who was unhappy with The Little Green Book, and thus made M J Murphy
unhappy, too. But Prof Zonis is cool with A Clarification Of Questions, so
presumably M J Murphy will also be satisfied?

Resaleh Towzih al-Masael/A Clarification Of Questions consists of almost 3,000
“problems” for which Ayatollah Khomeini provides answers, plus a few follow-ups
he dealt with in subsequent editions.

So, just to bring the deplorably unicultural Prof Miller up to speed,
the easiest way to get a flavor of the Ayatollah’s book is simply to 
sample the
contents pages:

THE UNCLEANS
1&2. Urine and stool
3. Semen
4. Corpse
5. Blood
6&7. Dog and pig
8. Infidel
9. Wine
10. Beer
11. Sweat of an unlawful ejaculation
12. The sweat of a camel that eats uncleans

Hey, Multiculti Man, that would be you at big hit sound number 8: “Infidel” –
right behind “Dog and pig” but, if it’s any consolation, ahead of “Sweat of an
unlawful ejaculation”. But hang on: ejaculate-wise, the Ayatollah’s just getting
cranked up:

PRECEPTS OF EJACULATION
Things that are unlawful for an ejaculator
Things that are loathesome for an ejaculator
The bath of ejaculation…

So just to reprise:

Did I cite Oriana Fallaci accurately? Yes.

Did she cite Ayatollah Khomeini accurately? Yes.

Is there a volume by the Ayatollah commonly known as the “Blue Book”? Yes 

Does it include rulings on sex with nine-year olds and what to do with a shagged sheep? Yes.

Did either of us mention a Little Green Book? No. In fact, the translation Oriana cites
pre-dates The Little Green Book by a year.

I think Professor Waggy-Finger is doing what they call “projecting”. He’s accusing me of
everything he’s been doing himself. I took “somebody else’s word for it”. Er, no. That
would be you, taking the Sock Puppets’ word for it on my book review. I didn’t check the
“primary source”. Er, no. That would be you, cavalierly announcing there’s no such thing as a
“Blue Book”. To be more charitable to you than you deserve, you assume that Oriana Fallaci
and I so want to think the worst of Islam that we’ll fall for any old hooey. Actually not. On the
other hand, you so want to think the worst of us blowhard provocateurs that you assume we’re
as ignorant of Islam as you evidently are. 

Please follow this on SteynOnline.com

 

 

The age of objectivity and fair reporting in America is over — MSNBC is disgraced

Who is a Democrat PR talking head and who is a journalist on MSNBC, NBC or CNN? Why stop there? The Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle are not investigating economic issues and massive bailouts. What kind of balanced journalism do you think the media performed during the two-year election?

First the gang journalists piled on Hillary, next they covered for Obama and attacked Palin.

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

The New York TImes had a reporter rewrite an AP story on the hoax and they spun the story to blame FOX News first with the hoax.  This is called journalism?

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, “a McCain policy adviser,” had come forth and identified himself as the source of a story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy and “a contributor to FOX News.” Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. “We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes.”

Gaines told the Times that someone in the network’s newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.

The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin—not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

Eisenstadt’s “work” had been quoted and debunked before. The Huffington Post said it had cited Eisenstadt in July on a story regarding the Hilton family and McCain.

Among the other victims were political blogs for the Los Angeles Times and The New Republic, each of which referenced false material from Eisenstadt’s blog.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, MSNBC spokesman.

There are plenty of questions that are not asked.

How did Minnesota Democrat Party election officials come up with 500 more votes for the Democrat senate candidate days after the polls closed and none for the Republican candidate?

Why was there a crisis over $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s campaign clothing, but no comparison with Hillary’s warehouse of pantsuits or Obama’s Greek columns and semi-truck of suits?

Newspaper and news magazine circulation is dropping. Layoffs continue. (Wait until after January).

How about bringing in the National Guard to make bus rides safe for whites in Baltimore?

There has apparently been another black attack against whites on a bus in Baltimore.
Less than a week ago a young white woman was severly beaten. Did you read about this in the New York Times the past few days? No. In fact, in today’s PC/Liberal Democrat society, you are considered a racist if you bring up a news item that doest fit the Big Brother/Big Sis agenda.

By Mick Gregory

Rosa Parks wasn’t beaten up by whites, was she? No, she was a prop in a lawsuit against segregation laws in the Old South. No, in fact, Ms. Parks soon moved to Detroit where a white woman would have risked her life to ride the public transit for the past 40 years. Now apparently, whites are not allowed on public transit in Baltimore.

Is the Baltimore Sun reporting this? How about the Washington Post, the paper of record for that region of the country?

WBAL-TV reports that two men aboard the #64 bus in Brooklyn claim they were attacked by a group of 7 black teens. The two men say they were attacked because they were white. They also claim the bus driver refused to call police for them. They were dropped off on the street by the black bus driver.

This comes less than a week after a white woman was beaten on a bus. Nine black middle school students have been arrested in that case. Continue reading

What the MSM makes sure you don’t read in your Sunday newspaper

By Mick Gregory

The progressive liberal desk editors have been hard at work keeping certain stories out of the well-read Sunday papers. For example, some news broke on Friday on Hannity’s radio show that Nancy Pelosi’s rush to raise the Federal minimum wage with one big exemption, that of Del Monte’s U.S. Samoa tuna factory, it was cut out of the wage hike. By next week, it will be “old” news.

The perverted teenage boy kidnapper was caught on Friday, and jailed. Police charged Michael Devlin, 41, a pizza shop worker who moonlights at a funeral home, with one count of kidnapping. (Wondering about that funny tasting sausage and mushroom?) Two boys kidnapped four years and 40 miles apart. Not a word on what Devlin wanted with the boys.

But the New York Post reports that Devlin had child porn on his computers. Thanks for sparing us the gay, pedophile details. But is this another white wash by the PC, liberal press?

Also on Friday, the federal deficit has improved significantly in the first three months of the new budget year, helped by a continued surge in tax revenues.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Friday that the deficit from October through December totaled $80.4 billion, the smallest imbalance for the first three months of a budget year since The budget year ends Sept. 30.

Tax collections are running 8.2 percent higher than a year ago while government spending is up by just 0.7 percent from a year ago. Last year’s spending totals were boosted by significant payments to help the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The Treasury said for December, the government actually ran a surplus of $44.5 billion, the largest surplus ever recorded in December and a gain that reflected a big jump in quarterly corporate tax payments.

The $80.4 billion deficit for the first three months of the current budget year was down 32.6 percent from the imbalance for the same period a year ago of $119.4 billion.

Then no mention of icicles forming on snow covered, tiny Prius hybrids in California and Texas, nor of the billions lost in citrus crops. Where is Posted in advertising, Al Gore, An Inconveniet Truth, Bill O'Reilly, bush, Citizen Journalism, Citizen Newspapers, Democrat, Media - Print, Media Blogs, Nancy Pelosi, old media, Political Elites, stocks | 2 Comments

Newspapers killing Scripps profit picture

Mick Gregory

When did newspapers make 20 percent profits?

The Scripps Co. owner of several newspapers and the popular HGTV channel, sent out a press release to stock analysts stating it is “talking about options” for its newspaper division, which is dragging down the company’s stock price.

“We’ve reached no conclusions, it’s fair to say,” Chief Financial Officer Joseph NeCastro said at an investor conference late Tuesday. “But we do believe that there probably is some value to be created in looking at a structural alternative there . . . maybe some form of separating the newspapers out.”

Scripps has built its cable-networks business, which includes HGTV and the Food Network, into the company’s leading profit generator. It’s now entering e-commerce with acquisitions of Web sites Shopzilla and uSwitch.

Scripps’ newspapers are slow-growth or no-growth. In the first nine months of 2006, the Scripps Networks division, which includes its cable business, posted a 17.8 percent gain in revenue. Meanwhile, its Interactive Media division, aided by the uSwitch acquisition, grew 408 percent.

Newspapers, which account for less than 30 percent of the company’s revenue, saw sales drop by 0.1 percent in the same time period.

Compared to broadcast television, “Newspapers seem to be much more troubled, and it’s hard to call a bottom there,” NeCastro said. “I think up until this last year probably it wasn’t that clear. I think we collectively feel like there is some damage.”

The newspaper industry is in a death ride. The Knight Ridder chain sold itself last year after investor pressure, and the Tribune Co., which paid more than 8 billion dollars for Times Mirror, is now being pressured to break up its newspapers, especially by the Chandler family, (former owners of Times Mirror), to boost its stock.

Scripps’ comments cheered Wall Street, with analysts from Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs publishing positive analyses Wednesday. Scripps stock hit a 52-week high, closing up 3.8 percent to $51.92.

“We were positively surprised by the company’s comments, which indicate that management has given more serious consideration to this possibility than we had previously thought,” Goldman Sachs analyst Peter Appert said. “Elimination of the newspaper unit would meaningfully enhance the company’s growth prospects and likely translate into a higher valuation for the shares.”

Scripps has daily and community newspapers in 18 markets, including Denver; Memphis and Knoxville, Tenn.; and south Florida. Scripps is a 50-50 partner with MediaNews Group, the owner of the Denver Post, in the Denver Newspaper Agency.

Scripps executives did not say an investment banker has been hired to assist in the deliberations. But NeCastro said the company’s board has spent “a fair amount of time” discussing options.
One possibility is a spinoff, in which Scripps shareholders would receive shares in a new, “pure play” newspaper company. Investors could then choose to sell the newspaper company shares and stick with the higher-growth, new-economy Scripps — or vice-versa.
“We believe (Scripps) could spin out its non-newspaper businesses, could sell most of its papers, or likely pursue many other scenarios,” Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Fine said.

– David Milstead, Rocky Mountain News

New York Times selling off TV stations en mass to keep afloat

The New York Times Co. stated after the stock market closed Thursday that it plans to sell its broadcast-media group, including nine television stations, to Robert M. Bass’s Oak Hill Capital Partners for $575 million.

Facing the prospect of further circulation and advertising declines and the growing threat of online competition, the newspaper giant said it needs to dispose of the properties to focus on core operations (the old gray lady).

“Over the years (the stations) have provided their communities with high-quality programming and have contributed significantly to our financial performance,” Janet L. Robinson, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We believe, however, that our focus now should be on the development of our newspapers and our rapidly growing digital businesses and the increasing synergies between them.”
The lead investor for Oak Hill, Bass is part of the Bass family of Texas oil billionaires. His brother, Sid, recently held a large stake in Walt Disney Co. Robert Bass’s net worth is placed at more than $5 billion. Oak Hill’s committed capital stands at $4.6 billion, the company said.

The nine stations were expected to account for $150 million in 2006 sales, or 4 percent of New York Times’ overall revenue when the plan to sell was announced in September, spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said. At that time, 2006 operating earnings from the group was estimated at $33 million.

The stations are affiliates of ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as one member of the MyNetworkTV group, and are in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. Market sizes range from Memphis to Moline, Ill. They employ roughly 900 people, Mathis said.

While a number of media companies are disposing of assets in order to cut costs, don’t expect large newspaper companies to sell off their broadcast assets en masse like the Times has, said Steven Barlow, analyst for Prudential Securities in New York.

“I wouldn’t imagine you’ll see anything from (other media companies) on that front,” Barlow said.