Bad bad bad bad

Dateline: Fri 30 Jan 2009

How bad? Bad enough that Gannett is writing off $5.9 billion in assets, the stock is down to $5.77 a share and net income is off 36 percent, according to Jim Hopkins at Gannett Blog. All this info is from Gannett's widely discussed fourth quarter report today. Heads are spinning, and they will be rolling.

Bad enough that the Indianapolis Business Journal is joining the chorus asking whether or not newspapers should be run as non-profits, a question also posed in the New Yorker magazine this week. Bad enough that if you work for Gannett, you know it in your heart: your days are numbered.

Here's the core info, from Gannett Blog, posted today:

"Gannett reported lower preliminary fourth-quarter earnings today, but even those profits will be wiped out once the company takes pretax writedowns of as much as $5.9 billion to reflect the declining value of its newspapers.

"The nation's top newspaper publisher said preliminary net income fell to $158 million, or 69 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, down 36% from a year ago, as advertising revenue continues to take a beating because of the recession, the Associated Press said."

Here's an idea -- instead of allowing themselves to be furloughed like lambs to the slaughter, what if Gannett's employees simply went on strike for two weeks -- walked out the doors, and brought the dragon to its knees? If nothing else, it would give other newspapers plenty to write about. The whole notion of sitting back and taking it seems especially egregious.

But what do I know? This blog will be on hiatus this weekend as we journey to Chicago for the 30th birthday of John "Old Hairy Balls" Blatt, also known as Elizabeth's boyfriend.

In the bye, keep eyes peeled on other Gannett-related blogs, especially the king of blogs, Gannetblog.

Peace. Or as we used to say in high school..."Peace, peace...but there is no peace."

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