Newspapers, unfortunately, continue to be a dying breed. Did you see what the NY Times sold the Boston Globe for? To think the Times paid a little over a billion dollars for the paper just two decades ago is indicative of the state of the industry.
Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, just paid $250M, (in cash), for the heralded Washington Post.
It's no secret here in the Bay Area that the Chronicle has been losing money for many years. Lots of money, like a million dollars a week at one point. It helps that the Chronicle is owned by a mega-media company like Hearst Corp. but at what point does the endless amount of red ink cause surrender?
The Chronicle installed a paywall recently; it has no doubt raised much-need revenue for the newspaper, but its website, SFGate, (the free portion), still gets the bulk of usage and is in the Top 10 of most-frequently viewed newspaper web sites in the country. Even with its digital traction and newfound Internet subscribers, the Chronicle still loses wads of money.
Even with all its murky financial status, I have never heard that Hearst is actively trying to sell the Chron. For one, Hearst knows the paper and its website still command considerable cultural weight in the Bay Area. They also know that although the San Jose Mercury News and its sister publications recently freshened up its online content, the Merc, deep in the heart of Silicon Valley, still doesn't have the cachet of Hearst's Chronicle.
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