November 14, 2005

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (111405)

Filed under: Bankruptcy & Reform,Business Moves,Economy — Tom @ 8:02 am

New York Times Reports Roughly 135,000 Paid Subscribers to TimesSelect

That’s in a little bit less than two months:

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times Co. said Wednesday it had signed up about 135,000 paying subscribers to its new online service that offers access to Op-Ed columns and other premium content.

The new service, TimesSelect, launched Sept. 19, and is free to home delivery subscribers. Non-subscribers can get access to the service for $49.95 a year or $7.95 every month.

The Times said it had signed up more than 270,000 subscribers to the service since it began, and that about half of them are online-only.

135,000 paid subscribers (half of 270,000) at about $45 per year (early-bird subscribers got in for $39.95) is about $6 million. Give them the benefit of a huge doubt and assume they can somehow double their TimesSelect subscribers with no more discounts and get another $7 million by the service’s one-year anniversary, giving them a total of $13 million for the first year. I know it beats nothing, and that The Times has many other media properties, but $13 million would be about 0.4% of last year’s total revenues of $3.3 billion.

This revenue stream, assuming it fully materializes, appears at best to be at the low end of the Times’ vaguely stated goal (7th and 8th paragraphs):

….. has offered a number of piecemeal premium services in the past, but in aggregate they only brought in a couple million dollars a year. The ambition is to have a much larger revenue stream.

He’s looking for significant numbers. The goal won’t be met with TimesSelect subscription numbers in the tens of thousands, (NY Times Digital President) Nisenholtz says; it needs to be in the hundreds of thousands in the early years, and even more over the long term.

I don’t see TimesSelect getting past double the current paid level, even over the long haul, because I expect drop-offs to about equal add-ons after the first-year buildup.

The point: I don’t see how TimesSelect is going to be the company’s salvation.

GM Facing Bankruptcy, Says NY Bank

GM is of course denying it:

A leading United States banker says it’s inevitable General Motors will declare bankruptcy. But the company says it has no plans to do so.

General Motors is saying bankruptcy is not an option. But an analyst with Bank of America tells the “Detroit Free Press” it may have no other choice.

I don’t think a filing is imminent, but wouldn’t rule it out in the next 3-5 years.

Management Guru Peter Drucker Died Saturday

His value added to the world economy was and still is immeasurable. His influence continues to this day, and will be felt for many years to come:

Peter F. Drucker, revered as the father of modern management for his numerous books and articles stressing innovation, entrepreneurship and strategies for dealing with a changing world, died Friday. He was 95.

Drucker died of natural causes at his home in Claremont, east of Los Angeles, said Bryan Schneider, a spokesman for Claremont Graduate University, where Drucker taught.

“He is purely and simply the most important developer of effective management and of effective public policy in the 20th century,” former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday. “In the more than 30 years that I’ve studied him, talked with him and learned from him, he has been invaluable and irreplaceable.”

Drucker was considered a management visionary for his recognition that dedicated employees are key to the success of any corporation, and that marketing and innovation should come before worries about finances.

His ability to explain his principles in plain language helped them resonate with ordinary managers, said former Intel Corp. Chairman Andy Grove.

“Consequently, simple statements from him have influenced untold numbers of daily actions. They did mine over decades,” Grove said.

Drucker championed concepts such as management by objective and decentralization, and his motivational techniques have been used by executives at some of the biggest companies in corporate America, including Intel and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Business Week magazine hailed him as “the most enduring management thinker of our time,” and Forbes magazine featured him on a 1997 cover under the headline: “Still the Youngest Mind.” President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

I still have his book, simply called “Management,” from college, and remember it as one of the least painful and most informative reads in business school. It, and he, based on various interviews of him that I read through they years, had so much common sense that still remains elusive to many managers.

Here is a link to a 1993 Wired Magazine interview (HT BoingBoing-don’t ask).


1 Comment

  1. I can’t bring myself to believe any numbers coming from any newspaper given their history of inflating circulation. There is so much free content on the internet I can get along just fine without NYT.

    I don’t know if GM will go completely bankrupt or not but that is definitely the direction they are heading. Their obligations to current and retired employees will kill the company if not fixed. While I wouldn’t recommend owning any auto related stock due to similar obligations, I could almost see picking up some Ford purely on speculation of a bounce off the 52 wk low.

    Comment by LargeBill — November 14, 2005 @ 11:25 am

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