A friend asked me today “Does one Bear Stearns bailout equal the entire newspaper industry?” I decided to find out.
Although there isn’t a clear answer, I was surprised by how small the newspaper industry is. Here are the market caps for publicly traded newspaper companies:
|Company||Market cap (millions)|
|Washington Post Co.||$5,450|
|New York Times||1,960|
|Sun-Times Media Group||19|
The key newspapers that are missing from this list are the Tribune papers and the Wall Street Journal. If you add in the $5 billion that News Corp. paid for the Journal and assume that Tribune is worth $2.25 billion ($8.2 billion value of the deal, discounted at the same rate as McClatchy’s year-to-date performance), the total value of the industry comes to $20 billion. (I’m being generous here and not subtracting out Kaplan’s contribution to the Washington Post’s market cap, which is likely 2/3 to 3/4 of the $5.5 billion.)
By comparison, the government has committed $30 billion in loan guarantees to Bear Stearns and $85 billion to AIG. The actual cost to taxpayers won’t be known for sometime. Bank of America is paying more than twice the value of the newspaper industry for Merrill Lynch.
Some other comparisons:
In other newspaper news:
- Newspaper group adds opposition to Google-Yahoo deal
- McClatchy to cut 1,150 jobs, 10 pct of work force
- Zell is not your problem. You are.
- Reporters From Paper Suing Chief of Tribune