Friday, July 25, 2008

Rougher Times Ahead

The Associated Press is reporting that the second half of 2008 may look a lot worse than the first half. Egads!

Hard to believe, considering that McClatchy, Lee and Scripps newspapers reported steep drops in profit levels for the second quarter -- about a 87 percent drop in Lee's case. Publishers are saying ad revenue fell the hardest in June, which is the tail end of the quarter.

If so, what does July, August and September portend? Scripps is already signaling that the company won't meet financial expectations in the third quarter. At least one newspaper chain -- Copley -- is exploring a sale of one of its newspapers (San Diego). But it couldn't have picked a worse time. It will never get top dollar for its shares. It may have to put itself on the auction block for a song, or how about a verse?

Sam Zell of Tribune is comparing the sucky advertising scenario to the Great Depression. I guess that Viagra isn't working. He doesn't foresee further cuts, but we'll see. Zell has said that before.

And the bad drumbeat goes on.

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