Washington Post: Buffett Pessimistic About Newspapers. “Simply put, if cable and satellite broadcasting, as well as the Internet, had come along first, newspapers as we know them probably would never have existed.”
It’s a sobering assessment from the world’s most famous investor.
Here’s his full letter to shareholders.
(Note: I’m a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, as well as a shareholder in several newspaper companies.)
on Mar 5th, 2007 at 8:04 am
[…] Dan Gillmor adds: “It’s a sobering assessment from the world’s most famous investor.” […]
on Mar 5th, 2007 at 9:10 am
Dan, do you agree with him?
P.S. I’m not even sure what he’s really saying… re: “if cable and satellite broadcasting, as well as the Internet, had come along first, newspapers as we know them probably would never have existed.”
well… yeah, hard to argue with the “newspapers *as we know them” part…” (that would be true for any innovation) but what does he mean by “newspapers”? the particular form of delivering of info (print on paper)?; the kind of topics covered? manner of presenting the news? without making clear what he means, his statement sounds empty to me… D.
on Mar 5th, 2007 at 12:44 pm
From a business perspective? I definitely do.
on Mar 5th, 2007 at 1:07 pm
from as business perspective… as in… you couldn’t have possibly made money by selling printed newspapers if such forms of delivering info as cable, satellite and internet would have been around first…?
still, I’m not sure that’s true… it seems to assume a bunch of things: that everybody would have had access to cable/satellite/internet when they wanted to access news; that in all circumstances they would have preferred this form of delivery to print on paper etc.
on Mar 5th, 2007 at 3:34 pm
There’s a difference between “news” and “newspapers,” true. But the business model supporting newspapers is the most difficult competitive threat, not journalism competition.