"While the talks between the two companies have thus far been considered friendly, people involved in the discussions said that Mr. Murdoch is determined to buy Time Warner and is unlikely to walk away." — The experience of truly cheating Death comes with an awareness, a soft, white noise that never quite recedes wholly into the background, that one has not acquired a permanent injunction barring further contact, but merely extracted a non-binding promise—an intimation, really—that while the evasion was fair play, the momentary lapse will be remedied in the fullness of time, the enabling loophole closed, completely and utterly. So Death circles, endlessly, the curve unbroken.
AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post for $315 million is fascinating. It comes directly on the heels, for one thing, of a Goldman Sachs assessment issued last week, with a "neutral" rating and the headline "still waiting for the promised turnaround." (It notes that AOL's ad revenue was down 27% and 29% from the previous year in quarters three and four.) You spoke a little soon, Goldman Sachs! Now AOL has inventory to sell! And HuffPo has content from elsewhere to suck in to sell against! What a morning—Arianna Huffington and AOL honcho Tim Armstrong are touching each other! AOL's publicist and Arianna's publicist are integrating! [...]
The Daily Beast loses something like $200,000 a week. Newsweek loses around $500,000 a week. (Actually more like $538,000—that's $28 million a year.) Put the two entities together and you're losing a million dollars every ten days or so. Sure, there's some cash incoming—Newsweek has $165 million in annual revenue! Which is a ton of money… almost none of which comes from Newsweek.com. Making sense of the properties online is the most confusing order of the merger. (What will be done to the print product seems pretty obvious to most.) Particularly given that Newsweek.com has two to three times the traffic of the Beast. Here's [...]