Our Local News Outlets

It is kind of ironic that your trash the N&O in your post while acknowledging it contains information you want.

I assume most people on this board would not be okay with stealing goods from a local store, but many people don’t think twice about stealing intellectual property from the local news outlets like the N&O and TBJ.

Perhaps if more people paid for local journalism those companies could afford to employ more people and provide more comprehensive local coverage.

14 Likes

N&O registration is free. It’s just annoying.

Also imagine thinking intellectual property–something that is not scarce, should cost anything. As if when you read an article for free you steal it from the site and it instantly vanishes, like stealing groceries.

Typically profit motive doesn’t encourage a quality product in that arena. Just fyi.

2 Likes

All points well taken, but we do have a long history of reading papers that others’ bought. How many times have you looked at a paper, or parts of a paper that were left on a fast food table bench seat, or in the magazine pocket on an airplane, or left on a bus, or on the floor of the sauna at the YMCA, or in a waiting room at your mechanics, or on park bench, or…? …well, you get the point.
I agree that independent news needs more funding so that we don’t get conglomerate penned OpEd instead of the actual news, but it’s a much harder nut to crack to expect our long history of “reading the news that someone else paid” for to stop.
FWIW, I do pay for my N&O digital subscription. I think it’s an amazing value for what I spend per year. For anyone who wants to try it, they always have an amazing cyber monday deal for one’s first full year of digital subscription.

4 Likes

The News & Observer has not been ‘local’ for years…

2 Likes

It may not be locally owned, but it does have a local focus, which is critical when it comes to things like local politics. The N&O, in my opinion, does an excellent job of covering things like development and election cycles, and having a news outlet that sets a high bar forces other local news outlets to do the same. All respect to WRAL, but I really don’t want them to be the only place I can find city council candidate interviews in ten years (that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

7 Likes

Alright Mr. Sensitive he has the right to free speech!!!

Have you followed the business news on McClatchy (parent of the N&O) lately? They filed bankruptcy earlier this year. If they are alive in 5 years, I’ll be shocked. In fact, I think they may even be in the process of fire selling some assets including the N&O to private equity…and if you know anything about private equity you know their business model has nothing to do with improving a business but merely saddling the business with more debt that they use to pay themselves…so yeah, I’d say 10 years to hope you will see anything from what’s left of the News & Disturber…is optimistic at best. Better get comfortable with an actual locally owned news outlet…WRAL.

I have indeed. Got my fingers crossed that the N&O gets purchased by someone that values journalism, but I don’t expect it. Regardless, their offices are here in Raleigh, and I like what they’re doing, so I subscribe. That’s all I’ve got for you, man.

4 Likes

The N&O killed Jimmy V. Nuff said.

3 Likes

Apple One Premium will, for $30/month, give you and yours Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness +, and Apple News +. The news feature gives access to over 200 magazines and newspapers. Most importantly for this thread, that includes the News and Disturber.

Looks like:

1 Like

Private equity is a disease of capitalism. They provide no value to the companies they acquire. Through financial engineering; they lever the companies up with debt that the entity has now way to pay back much less invest in the company.

The N&O will be dead in less than 10 years.

5 Likes

Very broad statements you are making. You are correct in that some PEG’s purchase business and go through a process where they trim the fat, but not all PEG’s engage in these processes. Some are very growth-oriented, and others (depending on the company they purchase) engage in a mixed approach.

At the end of the day, a traditional buyout fund has to exit the companies they purchase in a 5-10 year timeline and retain a profit. If the company they purchase fails, limited partners/family offices will not commit to their future funds, and lenders will not provide the debt-equity needed to buy other companies. From the opinion of someone who works in the private capital markets here in NYC (i.e., me…Raleigh native), I do think there is some regulation needed in regards to the lending practices of PEGs (private debt funds), specifically those that lend to consumers, and the debt liability companies concur when a sponsor purchases them. That being said, some would argue that the debt associated with LBOs are priced at a higher premium, and lenders acknowledge the risk they are taking when providing leveraged debt.

In regards to McClatchy, per the New York Times in August, they are being acquired by Chatham Asset Management…a hedge fund. Not sure if the acquisition has been completed yet. The article also states that “Chatham’s bid would allow it to retain most of its employees and honor its collective bargaining agreements.” I love the N&O and have been a loyal customer for many, many years. I personally think there is a place in our society/market, especially in a mid-sized city like Raleigh, for a regional newspaper. What I do predict is that smaller newspapers in places like Wilson, Boone, and Burlington will continue to struggle. I suspect there will be a push for the merger or formation of regional newspapers/media publications rather than those that represent a single town or city. For example, the Triad currently has two newspapers.

In life, I would suggest avoiding painting things with such a broad brush. Our economy is complex, every fund has a different strategy, and each economy in our country (city/town/region/state) is unique and diverse in regards to the people and the businesses that call it home.

4 Likes

I’d suggest you review the financial details of Chathams purchase…”before making broad statements”

I just hope WRAL sells FOX 50 and can creat Raleigh fifth (if you count Spectrum News on Spectrum Networks) local TV news, but owners are too scared of this market we need to show were welcome we won’t stick with the status quo!!! Maybe WRTD Telemundo Raleigh will start a Spanish-Language local TV newscast, and Raleigh second Spanish-Language local news to WUVC. We have enough Hispanic population to support two Spanish-language TV station and there Spanish Local TV news departments.

1 Like

The newspaper is trash my Mom and Dad worked for them, they been a news for the past few years!!! Lots of layoffs, My mom left just in time!!!

If anyone values anything even close to journalism they would run from this bird cage liner.

1 Like

Here are the financials you requested:

Summarizing from PitchBook: The company was acquired by Chatham AM through a public to private LBO transaction for 312 million. Chatham is assuming 263 million in debt and paying 49 million in cash for the company. Encina Business Credit and BNY Mellon provided $221 million debt financing, including a 171 million term-loan and a 50 million asset-based loan. Also, per the NYT story… The hedge fund offered to convert the more than $262 million it owns in McClatchy debt into equity in a Chatham-owned version of the company.

Looks to me like a pretty standard buyout of a distressed company. I thought my statement was pretty open-ended.

3 Likes

Speaking of good deals - the N&O is on sale currently, $20 for a year. That’s a darn good deal.

4 Likes

Several years ago Groupon ran a deal for Sunday only N&O for dirt cheap. I figured why not. I cancelled it after the year was up. Not much worth reading in it IMO.