Saturday, March 22, 2008

Zell Enters Into Talks To Sell Newsday

Written from Madeira--

How did Sam Zell ever make any money, if he panics so easily that he starts selling newspapers as valuable as Newsday?

The bad luck of the L.A. Times, and it is very bad luck indeed, is that it provides most of the financial underpinning of the Tribune Co. and might be the last part of it to be sold off, if the company continues to mess up all over itself and ultimately collapses into a mound of bad Chicago food.

Zell says revenue is now down 16 to 17% below last year's levels at this time, although he doesnÂșt break out individual Tribune properties.

His latest move, to amalgamate operations of the South Florida Sun Sentinel with a broadcasting station, if done in L.A. between the Times and Channel 5 might be an interesting innovation, but other moves he has made are depressing. He seems to know nothing of the newspaper business, have no dedication to the public interest nor be willing to give things a little time.

--

On this Portuguese owned island, there are so many super highways and tunnels tying things together, they have solved their traffic problem. The financing comes from the European Union. I told our guide today that perhaps Los Angeles and California should declare their independence, join the EU, and adopt the Euro. I received only 30 of them for $50 this morning.

This is a subtropical paradise, by the way.

Next stop, Casablanca

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