There has been much written about the decline of the print newspaper. Publishers have been eager to blame the changing times.
However, I say that much of the trouble has been self inflicted through leveraged buy-outs, loans at ridiculous interest rates and poor management (poor management by not recognizing that the world around them was changing quickly). Publishers have even blamed the advertisers. Publishers have made pleas for government hand-outs. Then along comes Soon-Shiong.
I have commented before about a friend who was a publisher with a passion. Sure turning a profit was nice but his passion overruled his pocket book. He had deep pockets, passion and a personal need to publish. The presses would roll – profitable or not.
Well, Soon-Shiong has purchased the L.A. Times and the San-Diego Union Tribune. He has deep pockets and I would guess a passion. He said he will invest in the newsroom, continue a grand tradition of investigative reporting and thrive.
Owning a paper brings pride, perhaps some prestige and hopefully a bit of profit but above all it fulfils a passion.
We need more eating of the passion fruit and a little less whining. Maybe we can get some deep-pocketed, passionate publishers injected into Canada.
I wish Mr. Soon-Shiong good fortune and I hope he’ll help instill resurgence of passion back into the industry.