Just last year, Sam Zell was optimistic enough about newspapers to buy the Tribune Company. Now he’s selling Newsday, one of the conglomerate’s top publications. “The news business is something worse than horrible,” he said recently. Across the industry, gung-ho new owners like Zell are experiencing buyer’s remorse, David Carr writes in the New York Times.
Competition from online media has already made newspapers a tough business, but with a recession looming, one analyst is predicting double-digit hits to earnings and revenues. “This is a year when some of the newer players may be hard-pressed to pay the bankers,” he said. Zell, for example, needs to cut expenses 10% to pay his debts.