Monday, January 03, 2011

Yes, Embarrassing

Recent report from Bloomberg:

The Huffington Post, the news site that began in 2005, will post its first annual profit this year...The site has grown to more than 26 million unique monthly visitors...[It] aims to more than triple its sales to $100 million in 2012 from $30 million this year, according to a person close to the company who declined to be identified.

"With such positive momentum, HuffPo can stay its course and grow organically or it can merge with or acquire someone," said Shahid Khan, chairman and chief strategist at MediaMorph Inc., a New York-based digital media-tracking service. "Its current valuation is in the $300 million to $450 million range."

Whatever one thinks of HuffPo's content or editorial slant, this is a major achievement when iconic brand names in journalism are selling for less than the price of a candy bar.

When HuffPo started there were a lot of potshots from the Right, and I seem to remember that some of them included predictions of a short lifespan. Here's one from an unsurprising source. But in purely financial terms, HuffPo has accomplished more in a few years than National Review has in over five decades (in 2005 William F. Buckley said his magazine had lost about $25 million since its inception). If National Review put itself up for sale today, what fraction of HuffPo's current valuation would it fetch?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And she's the main tin cup holder over there. Ha!

1/03/2011 11:46 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


In your best SNL Cubano voice:"Ca peakers be bery, bery goo to me!"

"Harman has pledged not only to continue to produce a lively, compelling and first-rate news magazine, but also an equally dynamic He intends to keep a majority of Newsweek's very talented staff," said Donald Graham, chief executive of the Washington Post Company, which had owned the magazine since 1961.

Harman is the founder of Harman International, a Connecticut-based manufacturer of speakers, stereos and in-car audio systems. The nonagenarian established the business in 1953 and retired in 2008, although he remains chairman emeritus. The company has nearly 10,000 employees and racked up sales of $2.9bn (£1.8bn) last year. The tycoon is married to Jane Harman, a Democratic congresswoman representing southern California.

Maybe the Washington Post should have bought car speakers in 1961 instead! This matches the $1USD sale price for Barings Bank once Nick Leeson got done with his "arbitrage vortex"!

Did Buckley ever run a real business in his lifetime? I only recall him pontificating on all the rest of the World's entrepreneurial endeavors. Maybe we should institute a rule in media that if you insist on commenting on the government or the economy in a CNBC interview that you at least have owned a business in your lifetime that made a profit. That leaves out everyone who was ever Chairman of the US Fed!

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