We work in advertising, but are we able to fully realize the seismic shifts taking place in media? I don’t think so. It’s too hard to measure the rate of change, or keep up with how far the mighty have fallen.
Thankfully, we can turn to media critic Ken Doctor. He reports that The New York Times Company plans to sell The Boston Globe.
We can figure the Globe group will go for $100-$150 million, assuming its pension obligations aren’t part of the deal. That’s 4-5x those annual profits. The price also fits another sad metric: Metro newspaper properties are today worth about a tenth of what they were worth at their height. Newsrooms may have suffered a 30-50 percent decline in numbers, but the newspapers themselves itself have lost 90 percent of market value.
The Times Company paid $1.1 billion for the Globe in 1993.
If you’re a fan of Dowtown Abbey, you know how fickle fortunes can be. But seriously, one tenth of its previous value is quite a slide. Media fortunes are shifting and the careers of tens of thousands of “thought workers” with them. It makes me wonder about the psychological toll. Professionals are people too and people don’t like change. So this has to hurt.