Hot Topic - News Corporation/21st Century Fox/
Nobody in business, media or otherwise, wants to be the little guy. Hence, all executives are schooled in thinking big. Their bankers tell them to think big because the paper work for a big deal is just the same as a small deal. There is no incentive to be anything but big.
Strong news brands, by and large, have discovered two things recently. Number one is the fragility, to be generous, of advertising revenues, digital and otherwise. Second and just as important is the rise of subscription revenue for big news brands like the New York Times and the Guardian. In addition, though most significantly in the US market, is the Trump Effect, passionate foes and fans of US president Donald Trump are paying to see what they want to see.
Transitional media environments create considerable froth among top executives. The hardest-charging eventually want to “seek new opportunities” or are asked. Stability is a warm-fuzzy memory as audiences, platforms and owners change. Growth - however possible - is still the priority. Getting there is the journey, not the destination.
Loyalty is a highly admired trait. It is necessary for soldiers, military and otherwise, to know that leaders and compatriots have their back, so to speak. To be resolute in battle means reciprocating. It is a matter of survival. In business, however, loyalty ends at the bottom line. This is a good thing.
Business and financial news outlets are distinct among information providers. They are many and varied; some international, others quite local. While many report news broadly, the key ingredients have always been facts and figures mixed with rumors sufficient to satisfy investors, shareholders, executives and all who watch them. All these outlets have struggled, some more than others, with digital competition. Credibility is of the utmost importance.
The new sport for broadcasters is spending; often borrowed, always huge. More is being spent, largely on content, sometimes technical tricks, by rich newcomers not around a decade ago and legacy rivals hoping to be around a decade from now. There will be winners and losers but fewer teams.
The digital age has made one factor more important than all others: scale. To thrive, if not only survive, media operators view consolidation as primary business strategy. Shareholders and stock traders agree; other insecurities pale. Above all, what is familiar is favored.
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