Archive for the 'RBS' Category

09
Feb
09

GAZETTE: The End Is Nigh

Mr Monkey reckons the newspaper industry has moved towards the end of middle-age, growing increasingly aware of its own mortality.

Like someone nearing retirement, it might well expect to have a couple of decades left before it’s ready to start pushing up the daisies.

However, the reality is many groups haven’t led the healthiest of lifestyles. Instead of investing for the future, they became greedier and greedier in the margins they chased.

It wasn’t so long ago Johnston Press, whose titles include the Shields Gazette and the Sunderland Echo, were the toast of the industry. Thirty per cent profits.

Why aren’t we making that, they chorused in boardrooms up and down the land.

Now look at them; they’re shares are not worth a bag of crisps.

It’s easy to be wise with hindsight but like all newspaper groups, they never really “got” the internet until it started getting to them.

In late middle-age it seems Johnston Press may well be prone to a sudden heart attack.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering how long the banks are going to put up with their debt mountain – which is approaching half a billion pounds – and given they’re falling revenues it won’t be long before they decide it’s time to foreclose.

It must be worrying times for those employed by the Gazette – do yourselves a favour and get out before it’s too late – apparently Papa John Szymanski is already looking.

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