Monday, March 24, 2008

BoSacks Speaks Out: The Economy, the Recession and Publishers

BoSacks Speaks Out: The Economy, the Recession and Publishers

We are clearly headed into some dicey economic times. For some of us a recession will create new problems of instability where we are already under stress - from new competitors, the internet, and the demand for accountability. At the same time some of us will not only survive, but will actually thrive and prosper even under the conditions of a recession. How can this be?

There are lots of factors, but I put most of it down to creative management, market position, and stamina. Stamina is the easiest to understand. It is the wherewithal to have dogged determination to succeed.

Stamina is not enough though, you also need the proper market position, which is where you are in the "food chain" of information distribution. Do you own your media segment? Do you have a commanding share of your particular niche? Do you have the best editorial/content? If so, you have the proper market position.

And lastly, creative management. Do you have managers with the wit, the vision and, most importantly, the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions?

Oh yes, and then there is luck. But a good deal of luck is recognizing any of the above conditions as it is flying by or landing near you. Once there is recognition, there needs to be an action plan to use that luck. And that brings us back to creative management,stamina, and market position.

What do you think?

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Bad news for Big Media
By John Simons, writer

The Following few paragraphs represent a synopsis of the full article:

As the United States slips into recession, advertising spending is set to fall - spelling trouble for traditional media companies already battered by Internet upstarts.

(Fortune) -- Media industry watchers are no longer debating whether the United States economy is in recession. Rather the question is, "how bad will it get?" If recent trends continue, the outlook is likely bleak for broadcasters, magazine publishers, newspapers, cable operators and the conglomerates that own them.

Advertising spending - the fuel that powers the media and entertainment industries - is poised for a downturn as corporations and consumers grow frugal. Cutbacks in consumer spending are expected to take a toll on everything from Disney's theme parks to Time Warner's magazines and News Corp.'s newspapers, according to analysts.

After some detail the article went on to conclude the following:

Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz is preparing for a rougher ride for this recession. "Our industry thesis is informed by our view that a recession in 2008 is likely, and that its impact could be more severe than those experienced in either 1990-91 or 2001," he says.

Creutz does see some companies' weathering and even prospering during a downturn. He likes Viacom's prospects, for instance, because cable networks can rely on subscriber and affiliate fees to help offset an advertising slowdown.

For the complete article:


Then Think about this paragraph from the Wall Street Journal

Executives Find Ways To Keep Moving Ahead Despite Economic Fears

The collapse of financial titan Bear Stearns last week heightened concerns among executives across industries that the U.S. economy is in a recession. The mess on Wall Street has made it difficult for companies to get financing to do deals; slowed sales of cars, clothing, other consumer goods; and prompted managers to scuttle hiring plans and consider layoffs.

The worst thing business leaders can do, however, is panic, especially because the length and severity of a slowdown is impossible to predict. Here are some management lessons gleaned from recent events to help executives navigate successfully in coming months.

After some details the article goes on the following thought, a great one for all publishers:
Look overseas for growth. The weak dollar and continued growth in India, China and other emerging economics are a boon to small, and some big, U.S. companies with broad global reach. Cleveland-based Horizons, a maker of specialty metals and aluminum, expects overseas sales, which already account for 25% of its revenue, to double this year after also doubling in 2007. The company started expanding overseas five years ago -- first to Western Europe, Japan, Korea and Russia, then to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Egypt and India.
"We'd be scrambling now if we weren't already global," says Wayne Duignan, director of international sales.
For the complete article:

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