Investment guru Warren Buffett’s outlook on newspapers is dismal

In fact, Warren Buffett has said don’t buy newspaper stock at any price. The days of the monopoly newspapers huge readership and advertising revenue are long gone.

What happened? Take a look at this modest blog’s stats: The 7-day traffic average is now passing hundreds of thousands of hits.  The majority are college graduates and in their peek buying years ages 25-55.
I predict the Boston Globe will go online with just a Friday/Sunday printed and delivered paper. 

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.

It’s time to stop the global warming propaganda machine while we still have freedom of speech

A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.

Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens ‘assassinated’ by Democrat Party prosecutors and media alliance

A political assassination took place last year, and America’s “journalists” failed to report it.

Did you read about any of this in your major daily newspaper?

At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

The straw that apparently broke Holder’s back was the discovery of more prosecutorial notes that were not turned over to the Stevens defense team as required by law. The notes were discovered by the new prosecution team, which was appointed in February.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.

 

 

In a move first reported by National Public Radio, NPR, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has decided to drop the case against Alaska’s former U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, Republican, rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

“After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial,” Holder said in a statement Wednesday. “In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.”

In a separate statement, Stevens’ lawyers praised Holder’s decision and said it was “justified by the extraordinary evidence of government corruption in the prosecution of Senator Stevens.”

The lawyers, Brendan Sullivan and Robert Cary, called the case “a sad story and a warning to everyone. Any citizen can be convicted if prosecutors are hell-bent on ignoring the Constitution and willing to present false evidence.”

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he has called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

 

Statement From Ted Stevens

“I am grateful that the new team of responsible prosecutors at the Department of Justice has acknowledged that I did not receive a fair trial and has dismissed all the charges against me. I am also grateful that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan made rulings that facilitated the exposure of the government’s misconduct during the last two years. I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come.
 
“It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair. It was my great honor to serve the State of Alaska in the United States Senate for 40 years.
 
“I thank my wife Catherine, as well as my family, friends, and colleagues in the United States Senate who stood by me during this difficult period. I also want to thank the great number of Alaskans who offered their prayers and support.”

Newspaper journalists and most broadcast news departments are not the government watchdogs they promote themselves as. In fact, they are fascilitators and  often public relations agents for the Democrat Party.

This is why online Webs, blogs and social communications sites have become so popular.

Chronicle to purge 150 starting April 1 — A cruel April fools joke?

The SF Chronicle’s carbon footprint is getting smaller, about 150 people smaller.  Some may feel a little foolish now about turning off their lights for Earth Hour, especially when they learn that Al Gore kept the lights on in his 9,000 sq ft mansion. California’s power use didn’t budge. It was a dim idea. 

Back to the lights out on newspapers top heavy with executive editors: 

“Until the current newspaper crisis, you rarely heard politicians or activists bleating about how important newspapers were to self-government. They mostly bitched about what awful failures newspapers were at uncovering vital data. The only group that holds a consistently high opinion of newspapers is newspaper people,” Jack Shafer.

He cites a recent Pew study that shows most people don’t care if their local newspaper folds, and he says they have a point — few of the stories printed every day “are likely to supercharge the democratic impulse,” and even the ones that do, generally fail to spur voters to do anything.

 

Slate‘s Shafer laughs at the high-minded talk of the critical role newspapers play in a democracy, declaring, “I can imagine citizens acquiring sufficient information to vote or poke their legislators with pitchforks even if all the newspapers in the country fell into a bottomless recycling bin tomorrow.”

Shafer shows that some of the people arguing for the importance of newspapers — academics and liberal activists — have shown little love for them in the past.

CHRONICLE UNIT BULLETIN — It’s official!

More than 80 Chronicle staff members took the severance deal on March 31, 2009. The overall number will be 150 in the next two weeks. Is anyone keeping a talley? Has it been 500 cuts the last four years? That’s my estimate.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of the large number of employees volunteering for termination during The SF Chronicle’s voluntary termination period, the WARN Act provisions requiring 60 days advance notice of involuntary layoffs is not valid. That means that after April 1, another 80 will be given their walking papers.

The company would have no legal need to give the 60-day notice provided for under the WARN Act.

Some members have said that they would not apply for the voluntary termination package and would, instead, wait for the layoff in order to get 60 days notice and the additional pay involved. Given the current situation, however, the Guild advises against taking this course of action because it appears there is a good possibility that the 60 days additional notice with pay won’t materialize. Remember that after April 3, 2009 no member regardless of age can receive the Supplemental Pension Benefit as a lump sum and all will have to take it as a monthly annuity. So if the Supplemental Pension Benefit as a lump sum from the Guild Pension Plan is important to you, and if the 60 days notice you were counting on is no longer a solid possibility, and you are certain you want to leave The Chronicle, we suggest that you should strongly consider volunteering to terminate your employment by the 5 p.m. March 31 deadline.

So, if another 50 or more rush to get your modest buyouts. The remainder who wait very well could end up with an extra 60 days pay.  Not a bad bet. And there are still 60 days of skiing at Heavenly and Squaw Valley.

 “Until the current newspaper crisis, you rarely heard politicians or activists bleating about how important newspapers were to self-government. They mostly bitched about what awful failures newspapers were at uncovering vital data. The only group that holds a consistently high opinion of newspapers is newspaper people,” Jack Shafer.

 Names of Chronicle staff taking the buyouts are piling up like winos in front of the Salvation Army food kitchen.   

Some of the paper’s veteran reporters and biggest names are leaving. It looks like music, books and arts coverage will be hit hard, as well as the photo department.

 Here are the names so far:

 Joel Selvin, who has covered the rock and roll scene for 30 years or so.

 Carl Hall, a longtime science reporter currently on leave.

 Tom Meyer, editorial cartoonist.

 Zachary Coile, a long-time reporter in the Washington D.C. bureau.

 Nancy Gay, who covers 49ers football and other major league teams. 

Three of the papers top culture writers are departing, including:

 Jesse Hamlin, Edward Guthmann, and Heidi Benson. They frequently profile authors, actors, and musicians.

Sabin Russell, who has covered science for decades.

Alison Biggar, the long-time editor of the Chronicle Magazine.

Sylvia Rubin, who covers fashion.

Bernadette Tansey, a biotech reporter. (She has been writing a new feature each Sunday that I love, a round-up of books on a particular business topic, but done in a very clever way.)

The photography department will take a big hit as six photographers, including Pulitzer-Prize winner Kim Komenich, are departing. The others include Michael Maloney, Craig Lee, Eric Luse, Mark Costatini and Kurt Rogers, a sports photographer

Other departures include:

Kevin Albert, editorial assistant

Greg Ambrose, copy editor

Charles Burress (who has covered Berkeley for years.)

Peter Cafone, sports copy editor

Ken Costa, graphic designer

Elizabeth Hughes, copy editor
Leslie Innes, Datebook editor
Timothy Innes, foreign news wire editor
Rod Jones, copy editor, news
Eric Jungerman, designer
Kathy Kerrihard, library researcher
Simar Khanna, editor of Home and Garden section

Even lower level employees are taking the bum’s rush:

Bonnie Lemons, copy editor, news
Glenn Mayeda, editorial assistant, sports
Johnny Miller, library researcher
Dan Giesin, sports night copy editor
Janice Greene, editorial assistant on the op-ed page
Shirley-Anne Owden, copy editor, features
Courtenay Peddle, copy editor, news
Lee Sims, copy editor, news
Michelle Smith, a sports reporter who covers women’s basketball
Patricia Yollin, metro reporter

There are many, many more. Please post what you know on comments.

 So the list will grow longer. Hearst wanted to lay off as many as 225 workers, (and threatened to shutter the paper) but backed off after the Newspaper Guild agreed to cuts in vacation time and seniority rules.

I wonder how these soon to be retired professionals feel now about their liberal politics, the kind that use their taxes to pay for the Mayor Gavin Newsom to fly off to Davos, Paris and London to mingle with the rich and powerful world leaders, while the “good people” work 50-hour weeks and pay nearly 50 percent of their wages in tax?

This is a profile of journalists in Gawker:

“While journalists might continue to forge forward despite workload, deadlines and salary issues, they will not stand by as the foundation of journalism crumbles beneath them. At that point, they will quit,” the study concludes. Hey! Anyone want to start a rock band or a truffle farm with me? Clips not required.



 

Newspaper editors purged MBAs from management years ago

Newspapers have not been blessed with the best and the brightest managers. Why? The executive editors sabotage real management and have purged MBAs from their ranks. Kill off the competition.

This is from the WSJ Deal Journal column, a Q&A with Mr. Knee, a highly respected  investment consultant

DJ: What would be your advice to newspaper owners?
Knee: You have seen people outsource everything from printing to editorial and indeed, any kind of journalism where your scale in the local community does not provide you with an advantage should be gotten elsewhere. If you find out how many people the large papers sent to the national conventions, you would wonder whether that’s economically justified. You have to focus on your competitive advantage, which is local. When the smoke clears, the local newspaper, which may not be the sexiest part of the newspaper industry but is overwhelmingly the largest and most profitable part of the industry, will be a smaller and more-focused enterprise whose activities will be directed to those areas where their local presence gives them competitive advantage and they will continue to generate as a result better profits than the supersexy businesses in the media industry asking for government or nonprofit help like movies and music.

The newspaper industry has not been blessed with the best managers, and generations of monopoly profits do dull the senses. On the journalism side, I think many managers would rather have avoided a fight with journalists than actually force them to think harder about what their readers want, rather than what they want their readers to want. In the economic environment we’re in, newspapers can’t afford to do every six-part investigative series they could have done before.

Meanwhile, the rank and file newspaper reporters who were busy covering their beats, don’t make much compared to the executive editors. 

Moma don’t let you’re kids grow up to be newspaper reporters. Have them study business, engineering, law or sales, even bar tending would earn them a better living. The executive editors who scratched their way to the top make big bucks for a while, until the host dies from bad management anyway. 

Ever wonder what kind of money the nation’s top newspapers pay their best journalsits? The top rung of the latter is set by the Newspaper Guild. Once you’ve lasted five or six years after about four years at a small daily and tuition of at least $20,000 a year at a respected J-school, this is it.

New York Times pays the most, $1,675.28 a week after two years. But that’s where it stays fixed until the next Guild negotiations. Of course, New York City has the highest cost of living expenses in the U.S.

Reuters pays $1,587.93 a week after six years.

The San Francisco Chronicle pays $1202.24 a week for six years of journalist experience. I know that is top for the Guild scale, but many of the hard workers, who put in more than 38 hours a week get additional pay above scale.

Consumer Reports takes the No. 1 position with $1,80410 a week scale after four years of experience. The union-biased “non-profit” magazine pays more that the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle for their pro-union advertorial reports on products.

Can new online newspapers chage for its content? Jeff Jarvis of the LA Times says “No!” And he explains himself very well:


How’s that for a direct answer? Every rule has its exceptions — this one only a few: The Wall Street Journal (paid by expense accounts), Consumer Reports (which serves reviews, not news), iTunes (we may play a unique performance over and over, but I don’t read even my articles more than once) and porn (which is suffering the same problem newspapers are thanks to free competition from, uh, amateurs). But the rule of the new, post-scarcity economy is clear: Charging for news online is dangerous folly. Why? Let me count the reasons if not the dollars:

Once news is known, that knowledge is a commodity and it doesn’t matter who first reported it. There’s no fencing off information, especially today, when the conversation that spreads it moves at the speed of links.

There will be no limit to competitors. Readers, like water, will follow the path of least inconvenience. It’s impossible to compete against free. Have papers learned nothing from Craigslist?

In the old-content economy, one could make much money selling many copies of a product. In today’s link economy online, we need only one copy, and it is the links to it that give it value. So rather than complaining that Google should pay them for aggregating their headlines, news organizations should be grateful that Google does not charge for the links it gives and the readers it sends. Indeed, we should be spending our effort figuring out how to get more links to original reporting to support it.

Putting your content behind a wall cuts it off from the conversation and robs it of influence. Just ask New York Times columnists how much they disliked the pay wall the paper finally demolished.

Not all newspapers are going bankrupt. Many, in small monopoly markets are among the most profitable businesses in America with profit margins much higher than oil companies, Apple, EBay, Cisco, Sprint, AT&T, Google or Microsoft.  Gannett has the lion’s share of these markets. And also the highest ratio of MBAs in the media business. 

Natasha Richardson dies, victim of Canadian nationalized health care?

Sadly, Natasha Richardson died after her simple ski accident on a “bunny hill” in Canada. After spending a day in a Canadian hospital with only observations, she was rushed to a well-equipped New York hospital where it was discovered the 45 year old was brain dead. 

People Natasha Richardson

Why wasn’t there a scan and X-ray? The normal procedures in a head trauma. The blood could have been drained and prevented her death. That is a snapshot of what socialized health-care is about. Basic services. Get to a U.S. hospital as soon as possible. 

Helmets will become much more popular on the slopes. Nationalized healthcare will still be on Obama’s agenda. The media will not go there.

But of course, citizen journalists will.

Here are some facts that you may never see in your “friendly neighborhood media” —

Despite spending more on health care than any other industrialized country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) except Iceland and Switzerland, Canada ranks poorly in several categories according to a new study by the Fraser Institute. 

For instance:

  • Canada ranks 17th in the percentage of total life expectancy that will be lived in full health.
  • It also ranks 22nd in infant mortality, 15th in perinatal mortality and fourth in mortality amenable to health care.
  • Other rankings for Canada included 9th in potential years of life lost to disease, 10th in the incidence of breast cancer mortality and 2nd in the incidence of mortality from colorectal cancer.

Further:

  • On an age-adjusted, comparative basis, Canada, relative to comparable countries of the OECD, has a small number of physicians, ranking 24th out of 28 countries.
  • Notably, Canada had the second-highest ratio among 20 OECD countries for which data were available in 1970.
  • Since 1970, however, all but one of these countries have surpassed Canada’s growth in doctors per capita.
  • While the age-adjusted proportion of doctors in Canada grew by 24 percent, the average increase in the proportion of doctors in the other 19 countries was 149 percent.

With regard to age-adjusted access to high-tech machinery, Canada performs dismally by comparison with other OECD countries:

  • Canada ranks 13th of 24 in access to MRIs and 18th in access to CT scanners.
  • It also ranked 7th of 17 in access to mammographs, and tied with two other nations at 17th of 20 in access to lithotriptors.

Lack of access to machines also means longer waiting times for diagnostic assessment, and mirrors the longer waiting times for access to specialists and to treatment found in the comparative studies examined for this study.

Source: “The Fraser Institute: High-Priced Canadian Health Care System Provides Poor Access to Care Compared to Other Nations,” Fraser Institute,” November 5, 2007.

For study:

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/COMMERCE.WEB/product_files/HowGoodHC2007.pdf