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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Morgan Stanley, Second Biggest Shareholder in New York Times, Sells Stock

[Update below]

We have spoken of the New York Times before. We showed as they printed leaked critical information that could endanger our country, when they defended the AP for telling outright lies and when they posted a video of a soldier dying before that soldiers family had even been notified. (Just to name a small example of why they are losing popularity, advertisers and investors)

There numbers have been dropping for years as shown by the graphs below.

2 yr trend:

5 yr trend:

Today we see reports, via Bloomberg, that Stanley Morgan, the second biggest shareholder in New York Times co., sold off all of its stock in New York Times today sending the stock for the company to a 10 year low.

New York Times shares slid 43 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $18.48 at 4:04 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the lowest since January 1997. The stock has declined 24 percent this year.

Couldn't happen to a better publication.

Other newspaper stocks, including Gannett Co., owner of USA Today, and McClatchy Co., publisher of the Miami Herald, are also trading at 10-year lows because of the loss of advertising to new media such as the Internet and the decline in classified ads linked to tumbling housing sales.

As Say Anything points out, Wall Street Journal and New York Post are thriving while the liberal, biased, distrusted papers such as NYT, USA Today and McClatchy are losing their proverbial butts.

Another little tidbit from the Bloomberg link:

New York Times sold its television stations in May for $575 million in order to pay down debt.

Pew, in August, polled and found that Americans see our MSM (Main Stream Media) as too critical of America:

The internet news audience is particularly likely to criticize news organizations for their lack of empathy, their failure to "stand up for America," and political bias. Roughly two-thirds (68%) of those who get most of their news from the internet say that news organizations do not care about the people they report on, and 53% believe that news organizations are too critical of America. By comparison, smaller percentages of the general public fault the press for not caring about people they report on (53%), and being too critical of America (43%).

The majority in that same poll say that our MSM reports inaccurately and refuses to correct their mistakes:

More broadly, the new survey underscores the fundamental change in basic attitudes about the news media that has occurred since the mid-1980s. In the initial Times Mirror polling on the press in 1985, the public faulted news organizations for many of its practices: most people said that news organizations "try to cover up their mistakes," while pluralities said they "don't care about the people they report on," and were politically biased.

But in the past decade, these criticisms have come to encompass broader indictments of the accuracy of news reporting, news organizations' impact on democracy and, to some degree, their morality. In 1985, most Americans (55%) said news organizations get the facts straight. Since the late 1990s, consistent majorities – including 53% in the current survey – have expressed the belief that news stories are often inaccurate. As a consequence, the believability ratings for individual news organizations are lower today than they were in the 1980s and 1990s.

In a following poll, done by Gallup, the majority of Americans do not trust our media.

Basic Trust in the Accuracy of the News Media

Gallup's annual Governance poll, updated Sept. 14-16, 2007, uncovered high levels of distrust today on the part of Americans about most aspects of their government, and found a continuation of the high level of dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country seen for the past two years.

Given this generally negative environment, it is not surprising to find that Americans also give the mass media low trust and confidence ratings.

The Governance survey shows that only 9% of Americans say they have a great deal of trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news "fully, accurately, and fairly," while another 38% say they have a "fair amount" of trust in the media to do this.


Bias in the Media

One reason for this general distrust of the media is the fact that only about a third of Americans today say that the news media are "just about right" when it comes to ideological balance. More than twice as many Americans say the news media are too liberal (45%) rather than too conservative (18%).

With these types of numbers and the ability of Americans to get their own information online because they cannot trust the media to report all the news instead of what furthers their particular bias while ignoring anything that doesn't fit their political agenda, the dinosaur media is becoming more and more irrelevant.

The NYT is good for one thing these days and that is bird cage liner.

[Update] Rasmussen on October 13th, came out with a poll that relates to this:

Newspaper circulation has been eroding, television audiences shrinking, and reporters sent looking for work. But, while mainstream journalists and their companies struggle with the realities of an online world, consumers of journalism are pleased with the results.

Others discussing this, via memeorandum.
Riehl World View,, The Strata-Sphere, Say Anything, Hot Air, Marginal Revolution, Don Surber, Wizbang and Blue Crab Boulevard