Monday, November 28, 2005

Media Notes

It's Allen time -- well, in 10 minutes it is as JLA appears on Fresh Air to plug the book on the Work.... Excerpts and audio (after 3PM ET, 2000GMT) here. But I get the (not-so-)sneak preview via satellite in precisely nine minutes....

In other news, it's good to know that rumor cycles don't just exist in this business, one of whose denizens once referred to it, and rightfully so, as "The Village of Washerwomen."

Philadelphia is currently abuzz as Knight-Ridder -- the owner of both of our major newspapers, the Inquirer and Daily News, along with the flagship papers in Kansas City, Miami, Detroit, San Jose, the Twin Cities, Charlotte, Columbus, Ft. Worth, etc. etc. -- "pursues strategic alternatives," i.e. the likely sale of the company. Everyone from private-sector execs to politicos and journos alike are about as skittish as gay seminarians over who the potential buyer will be.

And every day, a different name comes up. The mega-chains (Gannett, Tribune, NYT, et al.) have been ruled out, given the significant regulatory hurdles which picking up a company of KR's size would present. Other days, private capital firms have been mentioned... But today's nominee is either a sign of the currents of the media business or that the buzzmill has gone completely and irrevocably into unreasonable conniptions.

That's what happens when Google is rumored to be interested in acquiring one of the US' largest newspaper chains.