Friday, April 10, 2009

Nonononononono

Granting newspapers an antitrust exemption is a truly awful idea. If anything, Congress really ought to revisit the MLB's antitrust, which would probably have the effect of putting a third major league team in the NYC media market, probably in Northern New Jersey, and would have meant that Washington, DC area would have had a baseball team a decade ago rather than let Peter Angelos further exploit the Orioles' dominance of two media markets.

The fundamental problem facing the news is that while it has incredibly high social value, most news gathering is not particularly profitable. The advertising model worked as long as in each local market the major players held an oligopoly on news and ad placement. But with cable, the internet, and reduced print publishing costs, that oligopoly no longer exists.

This sort of conversation can get a little too close to topics I can't blog about, so I should probably stop there.

2 comments:

John said...

Media corporations already dominate the market enough as it is. Further consolidation could turn the remaining media into Pravda-like enterprises. Without competition, what else would keep the media honest?

Stephen said...

I see no reason to believe newspaper execs when they say that they "can't" make a profit.

Their problem is that they can't make the profit they think they need to, along with not being able to make a profit while paying themselves the outrageous salaries CEOs feel is their birthright.

At some point profit ceases to be an incentive to do better and becomes an excuse to send necessary operating revenue out the door to a privileged few.