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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The New York Times: Still On The Down-Swing

La Fheile Phadraig Sona Dhaoibh, or Happy St. Patrick's Day!. Yes, I'm blogging in the green today in honor of the one holiday I still do care about. I have to. I'm one-quarter Irish. I must remember the heritage I come from, but I'll never let it overcome the American I am. (And no, I'm not buying the American Catholic Bishops forgiveness for eating Corned Beef today. After much discussing of this last night, Marcie and I have agreed to have our Corned Beef dinner on Sunday. This is lent, and we accept no dispensation unless it comes from Rome. As it hasn't, we'll not be eating meat today.)

Now, onto the news. It seems that the New York Times is having more difficult times. Moody's Investor Service had this "wonderful" news for the Old Gray Lady today:


Approximately $1.6 Billion of Debt Securities Affected.

New York, March 17, 2006 --
Moody's Investors Service has placed The NewYork Times' A2 senior unsecured long term debt, and P-1 commercial paper ratings on review for possible downgrade.

The review is prompted by Moody's growing concerns about The New York Times' high financial leverage, deteriorating operating margins and weak free cash flow available for debt reduction, combined with concerns over intensifying cross media competition, including the internet, and growing event risk in the newspaper sector. The company's significant share repurchase activity over the last four years, debt financed acquisition of About.com, and capital expenditures associated with the transition toits new headquarters leaves the company with a significant debt burden,heightened adjusted leverage, resulting in diminished financial flexibility.

A multi-notch ratings transition will be considered in light of the company's financial and operating challenges. The review will focus onThe New York Times' ability and commitment to materially reduce debt over the next eighteen to twenty four months, and its ability to improve its operating trends and margins. The company's ability to mitigate event and execution risks surrounding the newspaper industry will also beconsidered in the review process. Moody's will evaluate the longer-term effect of competitive pressures from lower cost media, particularly internet based searchable database services, on the company's ability to achieve its operating targets.

The New York Times Company, headquartered in New York City, is a major media company with operations in newspaper publishing, broadcasting, and information services.

And it's still heading down the Johnny Flusher. The New York Times isn't the only one with financial problems. Her "sister" paper on the west coast is also having problems. Last year alone, the LA Times had two different sets of lay-offs, and had to close one of it's distribution centers. This comes as much from a changing market--an advance in technology that the dinosaur MSM was unable to keep up with--as it does from not presenting a good product. People are turning away from newspapers. Oh sure, you get the people who like the coupons and the crossword puzzles, but for news, they can get it better, faster, and more up-to-date on the Internet.

The Old Media is facing its twilight. Unless it can adapt, it's sure to go the way of the Dodo in the next few years, or so. People I know scoff at the idea that the media will ever die. But, in a way, it's already in it's final throes. Ratings are down for networks,a nd subscription levels have been declining for the past ten years, or so. People are tunring to the Internet for more and more information. Again, the Internet is faster and better at getting news out to the masses. This was only a matter of time, and time itself is something the old media has precious little left of.

Publius II


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