Friday, April 04, 2008

Some holes can not be climbed out of

Just days ago I urged journalism teachers to force students to learn about business and finance. In particular, I want students to understand debt financing, which has put a stranglehold on many publications.
My hope is that by understanding the murderously difficult environment in which many publishers operate, students will made better decisions about their career path.

To that end, I offer a reading assignment.
Reuters has published a lengthy and well-reasoned article showing that it will be damn near impossible for Sam Zell to avoid a default at the Tribune Co., which is groaning beneath $4 billion of debt and some tough-to-meet debt covenants. You can check out the article here. Students who take the CliffNotes approach to study can get everything they need from PaidContent's take.

Those of us in B2B should avoid the urge to feel smug about the nightmare that is newspaper finance. In our end of the industry, things are likely just as bad. But since so many of our major players are privately held, we just don't know how ugly the balance sheets may be.
And as I've said before, I'm worried.

tags: , , , , , , , journalism education

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