It seems that millionaires buying failing newspapers doesn’t help sales. Time magazine, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times — owned by Marc Benioff, Jeff Bezos, and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong — are still losing money, and the billionaires can’t make them profitable either. So says the New York Times.
The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times all lost millions of dollars last year, people with knowledge of the companies’ finances have said, after considerable investment from their owners and intensive efforts to drum up new revenue streams.
“Wealth doesn’t insulate an owner from the serious challenges plaguing many media companies, and it turns out being a billionaire isn’t a predictor for solving those problems,” said Ann Marie Lipinski, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism curator at Harvard. “We’ve seen a lot of naïve hope attached to these owners, often from employees.”
It seems controlling information and manipulating it isn’t the big moneymaker they hoped it would be.
According to three people who know the projections, the LA Times was on track to lose $30 million to $40 million in 2023. Last year, the company cut about 74 jobs, and executives have recently met to discuss the possibility of deep job cuts, according to two other people familiar with the conversations.
WaPo eliminated employees at The Post and recently sent a letter to their top editor, Sally Buzbee, and their new permanent chief executive, Will Lewis, expressing concern over the lack of research firepower for their articles in the wake of the buyouts.
Time is restructuring to look more like Forbes and Condé Nast. Condé Nast is facing layoffs, so its employees are on strike. There’s nothing like imitating a failing model.
The LA Times censored Dilbert — even before I got cancelled — more than all the other papers combined. Good riddance. https://t.co/jIii14T9xi
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) January 25, 2024
They’re all building digital empires, but it won’t do them any good unless they tell the truth and offer more than progressivism and wokeism.
Maybe lying about COVID was a bad idea. Perhaps demonizing half the nation eliminates half the potential audience?
OTHER WOKE FLOPS
About 40 members of the Daily News union walked a picket line in the rain around a Midtown Manhattan office building where the News maintains a co-working space that can fit only six people, according to union leaders.
The Washington Post, another woke paper, cut 240 jobs with buyouts, and now the remaining staff want a contract.
Business Insider laid off 8% of its staff, MSNBC cut 1900 jobs, and the LA Times cut 20% of its staff.
Cable news ratings have fallen amid an uncompetitive presidential primary contest. Esteemed titles like Sports Illustrated, already a shadow of their former selves, have been gutted overnight.
BuzzFeed and Vice Media are looking to sell off assets. BuzzFeed has lost over 97% of its value since going public in 2021 and is looking to sell its food sites, Tasty and WeFeast. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Fortress Investment Group took over Vice in bankruptcy last year and wants to sell its Refinery29 women’s lifestyle site.