To please the Street, newspapers need to have a plan

Steve Yelvington, who works for a privately held newspaper company, emphasizes the exceptionally true point that many journalists who blame about Wall Street for the industry’s woes misunderstand the Street’s expections.

Writing for the Winter issue of Nieman Reports, economist Robert Picard says:

“In many instances, management, journalists and industry critics appear to have a skewed vision of what it is that investors expect. … Although those who are critics of public ownership often accuse these institutions of only being interested in short-term profits, the truth actually lies somewhere else. What these investors are looking for is a good return on their money; to get that they are willing to trade short-term profit for long-term growth and stability. But most publicly traded newspaper companies offer no credible plans (or a vision) for anything beyond the delivery of higher-than-average quarterly profits. With this mentality in place, investors pressure boards and managers for high returns so that they can recoup their investments in a shorter period of time.”

(Emphasis added.)

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