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(Philly.com)   Newspaper employees plan to buy out their owners for control of newspapers. Fortunately some evil billionaires are available to prevent this socialism from breaking out   (philly.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, newspapers, Philadelphia Daily News  
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1602 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Jan 2014 at 3:13 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-13 02:51:47 PM  
Weren't there any 8-Track Tape factories to buy instead?
 
2014-01-13 03:02:25 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Weren't there any 8-Track Tape factories to buy instead?


Hipsters got them all.
 
2014-01-13 03:18:47 PM  
Eh, nothing to lose. With a litle luck, they'll force a higher price and get something of an increase in the pittance out of Bankruptcy Court.

Either way, they are pretty much screwed.
 
2014-01-13 03:28:30 PM  
I don't think the 'evil billionaires' will give a shiat as long as the workers pony up the money.
 
2014-01-13 03:35:51 PM  
And by, "prevent this socialism from breaking out" you mean put in competing bids? Tell me, when you sell something of yours do you examine the motives of the buyers and pick a lower bidder if their motives are purer?

I hope the employees succeed in buying the paper. I've always said, if union members think they can do a better job, they're welcome to put their money at risk and prove it.
 
2014-01-13 03:36:47 PM  
I'm sure that self-ownership will totally fix the problems of decreasing circulation and advertising revenue.
 
2014-01-13 03:37:55 PM  
Cool -- instead of lies driven by the DNC and big business we'll get lies driven by the DNC and collectives of low information zombies.
 
2014-01-13 03:41:32 PM  

enik: Cool -- instead of lies driven by the DNC and big business we'll get lies driven by the DNC and collectives of low information zombies.


shiat, I'd be a lot more interested if philly.com could come up with interesting lies. It's just dreck.
 
2014-01-13 03:45:57 PM  
Hope this works out. The Philly newspapers have very talented people and if they got out from under the wanna-be Murdochs I think the city would have a benefit greatly.
 
2014-01-13 03:54:53 PM  

monoski: Hope this works out. The Philly newspapers have very talented people and if they got out from under the wanna-be Murdochs I think the city would have a benefit greatly.


^ This.  It used to be a really good paper.  Still not terrible, for an American publication, but employee ownership is what it needs.
 
2014-01-13 04:14:44 PM  

MugzyBrown: I don't think the 'evil billionaires' will give a shiat as long as the workers pony up the money.


Billionaires don't get into the newspaper business because they want to make money, they do it to influence public opinion. That's why you see Murdochs and Kochs and other political partisans scooping up flagging papers across the country. It's also why garbage like POLITICO and the Washington Times are free.

In this instance, south Jersey political boss George Norcross was tired of the pesky fourth estate shining a spotlight on his wheeling and dealing, so he decided to buy it.
 
2014-01-13 04:15:29 PM  
If a large group of people buy a company from some other large group of people, that's not socialism. In this case it would still be capitalism.
 
2014-01-13 04:22:16 PM  
See, you put up a fight because you want those suckers to think they are getting one over on you.  Shill up the bids and fleece them.
 
2014-01-13 04:39:26 PM  
Here's a fun little puzzle, for the economically minded:

A common topic of economic research is the so-called principal-agent problem, that is, the problem of how to motivate employees to do their jobs rather than steal from the company or just not give a fark. The classic solution: sell the company to the employees (or, perhaps, their pension fund), if they're willing and able to make anything like a fair offer. That way all the consequences of shirking are on their own heads, not yours.

Looked at from that perspective, the real wonder is that firms aren't sold to their employees much more often. Of course employees might not want to bet their retirement on a firm, especially in a declining industry, unless they really think they can do a better job than the old management of turning it around. But in that case why would anyone else want it?

(Why, that is, would anyone buy it who wasn't planning to strip the paper's assets or turn it into a propaganda outlet not required to make any money.)
 
2014-01-13 04:41:34 PM  

enik: Cool -- instead of lies driven by the DNC and big business we'll get lies driven by the DNC and collectives of low information zombies.


Right, journalists running newspapers would be so much worse for journalism than job creators like Sam Zell would.
 
2014-01-13 04:48:16 PM  

jjorsett: And by, "prevent this socialism from breaking out" you mean put in competing bids? Tell me, when you sell something of yours do you examine the motives of the buyers and pick a lower bidder if their motives are purer?


Don't tell anyone but I did this once. Found out that the top bid for my mother's house was a company that turned houses into rental properties.

Didn't want to do that to her neighbors (who were very nice to her) so I took a lower bid.
 
2014-01-13 05:05:02 PM  
A whatnow?
 
2014-01-13 05:28:50 PM  
Kids: A "newspaper" was a big wad of paper your parents used to buy to catch up on current events.  A boy would bring it around in the morning, and after they read it, they would usually throw it away.
 
2014-01-13 05:48:24 PM  

Fear the Clam: I'm sure that self-ownership will totally fix the problems of decreasing circulation and advertising revenue.


this is my opinion, based on interviews i have seen with newspaper people a few years ago.  unfortunately, the statements of those interviews were biased, and my memory is also biased towards whatever my opinion happens to be at the moment.  that disclaimer aside:

while revenues and circulation have declined, many newspapers could still turn a profit.  the real dilemma is that owners want these things to be big money makers, not just businesses that are sound that survive with a low profit margin.  the problem with newspapers is that owners have tried to retain the old world profitability without any new innovation.  the only business innovation has been to fire expensive talent and quit wasting money on expensive investigative journalism (in place of celebrity news and gimmicks).  while this temporarily upped the bottom line (by decreasing costs, not by increasing gross), it has also hindered the long term success of the operation.
 
2014-01-13 06:12:42 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: jjorsett: And by, "prevent this socialism from breaking out" you mean put in competing bids? Tell me, when you sell something of yours do you examine the motives of the buyers and pick a lower bidder if their motives are purer?

Don't tell anyone but I did this once. Found out that the top bid for my mother's house was a company that turned houses into rental properties.

Didn't want to do that to her neighbors (who were very nice to her) so I took a lower bid.


Commie
 
2014-01-13 07:20:56 PM  
This can work, because their objective is to keep the company in existence, rather than to pump as much money as possible into the Cayman Island bank accounts of senior executives.
 
2014-01-13 07:39:33 PM  

Fear the Clam: I'm sure that self-ownership will totally fix the problems of decreasing circulation and advertising revenue.


Shhhhhh!!

Don't you know that the workers owning the means of production is the solution to all of the  economic problems in the US?
 
2014-01-13 08:06:33 PM  
If you want to survive, you have to put out news that people can't get anywhere else, especially local news. I'm in a small rural town at the moment and the entire local rag is cut-paste from the associated press with filler columns from syndicates and the "Dear Whoever" tripe. No community news, no school stuff, no local sports scores, no church information (not that I go, but still, churches always have crap going on), and no information outside of what I already made dick jokes about the day before on Fark. The paper's solution: Put up a paywall, like the Wall St Journal.

It's a shocker that they're failing.
 
2014-01-13 08:57:54 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: monoski: Hope this works out. The Philly newspapers have very talented people and if they got out from under the wanna-be Murdochs I think the city would have a benefit greatly.

^ This.  It used to be a really good paper.  Still not terrible, for an American publication, but employee ownership is what it needs.


Yeah, it's kinda amazing but under Walter Anenberg (Ronald Reagan's best friend, if he had one) The Inquirer was a well-run and well-balanced paper.  Even for years after he sold it to Knight-Ridder, it was still pretty good.  But the last few years it's been bounced around like a hot potato to a bunch of crooks who were apparently only interested in stripping off all the assets they could, the last being the paper's home on North Broad St.
 
2014-01-13 09:08:25 PM  

jigger: If a large group of people buy a company from some other large group of people, that's not socialism. In this case it would still be capitalism.


More like market socialism. The most basic definition of socialism is that the workers own the means of production, not owners or outside stock holders.

Basic socialism doesn't necessarily require centralized planning or government involvement.
 
2014-01-13 09:16:05 PM  

jigger: If a large group of people buy a company from some other large group of people, that's not socialism. In this case it would still be capitalism.


You don't have the slightest farking clue what "socialism" means, do you?
 
2014-01-14 12:48:19 AM  

Wireless Joe: enik: Cool -- instead of lies driven by the DNC and big business we'll get lies driven by the DNC and collectives of low information zombies.

Right, journalists running newspapers would be so much worse for journalism than job creators like Sam Zell would.


Oh c'mon now. It takes a lot of skill to turn the Chicago Tribune from a well-respected newspaper into a laughing stock.

Luckily, the new ownership is undoing the damage Zell caused and it looks like a respectable newspaper once more.
 
2014-01-14 10:23:05 AM  

Ed Willy: jigger: If a large group of people buy a company from some other large group of people, that's not socialism. In this case it would still be capitalism.

More like market socialism. The most basic definition of socialism is that the workers own the means of production, not owners or outside stock holders.

Basic socialism doesn't necessarily require centralized planning or government involvement.


I'm sure Stalin would be rolling over in his grave if the workers purchased the means of production instead of murdering the owners in the town square.

Now should the employees manage to geet a good bid in and be able to purchase the paper, they should start an anarcho-syndicalist commune and take
it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting. By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more...Listen what I'm getting at here is that strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system ownership of a news outlet. Ownership shouod come from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
 
2014-01-14 05:50:34 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Mr. Coffee Nerves: Weren't there any 8-Track Tape factories to buy instead?

Hipsters got them all.


How the fark do they plan on .torrenting them around?
 
2014-01-14 06:57:19 PM  

Crotchrocket Slim: Marcus Aurelius: Mr. Coffee Nerves: Weren't there any 8-Track Tape factories to buy instead?

Hipsters got them all.

How the fark do they plan on .torrenting them around?



Wire a couple of these to your local organic coffee shops dial-up 300 Baud modem
postpro.org
 
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