The Mario Blog
04.13.2012—8am
Newspapers become hot properties again?

TAKEAWAY:So newspapers are becoming hot commodities in the market, in spite of all the bad press they get as bad business these days,. This is good news for an industry that cen certainly use some good news.

This is the weekend edition of TheMarioBlog and will be updated as needed.

Update #3Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, April 13, 19:02

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TAKEAWAY: So newspapers are becoming hot commodities in the market, in spite of all the bad press they get as bad business these days,. This is good news for an industry that cen certainly use some good news.

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Illustration by Massimo Gentile/Il Secolo XIX

Something to cheer about

Some items in the media news circuit cheer us up these days.

First, an item about the return of media barons. Well, guys, welcome back.

The article mentions such recent newspaper acquisitions as that of The Omaha World-Herald at the end of last year by Warren E. Buffett .

Also, The Portland Press Herald in Maine, where
Donald Sussman
, a hedge fund manager and philanthropist, bought a stake in the company that owns Press Herald.

But the one that made me particularly happy:
Last week a group of very rich, very influential Philadelphia businessmen — including George E. Norcross III, a Democratic power broker in Southern New Jersey, and Lewis Katz, the parking magnate — bought the Philadelphia Media Network, which owns The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com.

As readers of this blog know, The Philadelphia Inquirer is dear to me, and I am hoping the new owners give it a chance to grow and to continue to be the influential, quality newspaper that makes it rank among America’s best.

The fact that the new owners are bringing back Bill Marimow, formerly a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The Inquirer, is fantastic news, indeed.

Just in:

– USA: Warren Buffett Building Newspaper Empire?
http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/04/12/warren-buffett-building-newspaper-empire/

Newspapers are hot properties?

Second, and related to the item above, I am thrilled to read that, in spite of what so many pessimists say, buyers with deep pockets are interested in newspaper properties.

And, writes John Morton :

“Today newspapers are far less valuable — by half or more — yet sellers and buyers are once again finding each other in great numbers.”

Could it be that they have heard that people, and, indeed, young people, are spending more time consuming news? And newspapers continue to be the main source of news, reporting it, editing it and dispensing it. I continue to see that when one of these barons buys a newspaper, he/she is buying into a news /information operation. The demand for information has never been greater, nor the time spent consuming it.

It makes sense.

If I were in a position to do so, I, too, would purchase a newspaper, perhaps a regional daily or group of dailies, with good reputations for solid local reporting. I would also make sure that all platforms were represented, with a strong mobile telephone representation.

Previous blog posts about The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Story (Entry 1):
http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/a_very_special_project_for_me_the_philadelphia_story

The Philadelphia Story (Entry 2):
http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/the_philadelphia_story_entry_2_discussing_the_non_project_project

The Philadelphia Story (Entries 3-4-5):
http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/the_philadelphia_story_entry_3_i_recognize_this_conference_room

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The week ahead: where is Mario?

It is an interesting week ahead for me, moving across two continents, but engaging in some good programs.

April 17, London—-Monocle Radio: will appear in the morning show, The Globalist, where the hosts review the day’s newspapers. Always look forward to my Monocle encounters, and, although friend Tyler Brulé will not be able to join me (we missed each other by one day, and I could not change my own agenda, but, next time, Tyler!). Will also participate in an interview for the weekly Culture show.
http://www.monocle.com/

April 18, London———judging the D&AD design contest.
I will be part of one of the 25 juries to select the best of design to go into the 50th D&AD Annual.
http://www.dandad.org/

April 20-23, Buenos Aires—catching up with Garcia Media Latinamerica team; plus enjoying one of my top five favorite cities in the world.
http://www.garcia-media.com.ar/

April 25, Santiago de Chile—speaking to the WAN-IFRA America Latina 2012 Congress; my topic: Designing for the 21st century, across platforms.
www.wan-ifra.org

April 27, Rochester, NY—speaking at Digital Reading Symposium at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). I am honored to be in this gathering which explores the art and science of reading on screens .
http://www.rit.edu/cias/readingdigital/

Of interest this weekend

SND’s World’s best designed website: The Boston Globe
http://www.snd.org/2012/04/snd33-worlds-best-designed-website-bostonglobe-com/

Highlight:

“The Globe’s responsive design is remarkable and deserves to be noted as one of the key moments in media design history, akin to USA Today’s embrace of color and graphics. Its impact will affect a generation of digital journalists and is an example of what’s possible when smart design and rich content is balanced with a focus on being standards compliant and future-friendly across all platforms.”

– FT’s How to Spend It iPad app passes 100,000 downloads
http://blogs.pressgazette.co.uk/wire/8821

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