In fact, that's the title of the Buzzmachine musing: No hope. You can read it in full there, but here's the particularly smirky part about McClatchy:
* McClatchy shares hit 60 cents yesterday. As I write this, it’s up to a big 78 cents. Bubble! Gatehouse hit 4 cents (and I’d still short them given their current attitude); market cap: $2.3 million. See Alan Mutter’s excellent analysis of how debt did in papers. I’d say it’s more than that: It was misplaced optimism in the form and in the incumbents. If these papers had instead taken on debt to innovate and create or to buy innovates (a la the New York Times buying About), that might have been productive. Instead, they bought newspapers, which was only an indication of how snug their blinders were.
Sigh. We've been here so often before.
Here's what I said in the comments on Jeff's blog:
I get so fucking tired of correcting you, Jeff. Has it *ever* occurred to you to do some reporting — like asking questions of those involved — before pronouncing such apocalyptic conclusions?
It’s perhaps more than interesting that you so frequently refer to blinders; I’ve never read an analyst who is so consistently, persistently wrong about basic facts.
Yes, the stock price sucks. As you know (or should) that reflects Wall Streets’ analysis of our prospects. And we all know those are some smart guys who always get it right, huh? To cite stock price as a definitive measure of performance is as bad a sin as those who ran their companies mainly to maximize stock price.
This much is clear: When McClatchy demonstrates, as it will, that it is coming out of the the downturn/transformation challenge whole, that price will rise again.
Yes, debt is tough to manage when revenues fall. No shit. But I guess you refer to Alan Mutter’s analysis as “excellent” simply because it confirms your beliefs. It’s anything but excellent. It’s very thin soup, persuasive only to people who know less about these issues than he does.
He opens by lumping all the news companies together and saying “The details in each case may be different. But the story is the same.” Nothing could be more wrong. It’s *all* about the differences. To equate the Tribune’s debt with McClatchy’s KRI debt is simply looney. Stop repeating this trash; it makes you look stupid.
Your post is entitled “No hope.” Bullshit. McClatchy remains a strongly profitable company (you can look it up at the SEC). It’s never missed a payment and isn’t about to. Lehman Bros failed; GM is failing; even in the same economic climate, McClatchy is not. There is much hope.
Online sales and revenues continue to grow at double-digit rates. Our percentage of revenue from online leads the industry (excluding, perhaps, the national papers) and continues to grow. Perhaps more importantly, the company is so much more efficient now than two years ago (to the tune of some $350 million in reduced expenses) that it doesn’t have to return to anything like historic margins or revenues to be successful.
You know that I have long offered to wager $1,000 on McClatchy’s prospects with anybody who doesn’t believe me. Let’s make it personal, shall we? Show me your money, Jeff.
Because you’re wrong. Consistently, persistently wrong in a way that hurts thousands of McClatchy employees who are working hard every day to advance the interests you profess to believe in but routinely dismiss with a shrug and near-total disregard for facts or reporting.
P.S. Re Pew: The internet IS NOT a source of news; it’s a delivery system.