Media Moguls & Why They Bet Wrong

David Carr is a good reason to get up on Monday a.m. In his latest column, he takes a hard look at the inverse correlation between big media deals, growth for growth’s sake and the destruction of value. Via a new book by Jonathon Knee, he also captures the key tenets of media mogulhood and why they are wrong:

“The four pillars of media conventional wisdom have not changed: First, growth at all costs; second, content is king; third, the answer to all problems is to expand globally; and finally, that by embracing convergence and the Internet, they will be able to solve all their problems,” Mr. Knee said.

The piece that really jumped out at me was the assertion that the search for bottom line profits by buying up/merging with businesses not core that “seemed” to have better bottom lines tended to go badly over time, but were rewarded w/ plaudits and applause at the time, as Carr notes, often by those carrying the notebooks, while slow but steady growth fueled by internal resources tends to be overlooked. Sort of sounds like this was what got many banks into trouble, eh? 🙂

One Response to “Media Moguls & Why They Bet Wrong”

  1. Tom Foremski Says:

    The media industry hasn’t yet figured out how to make money from convergence of media formats (online and offline) let alone the convergence of media properties within M&A deals.

    Most of the $200 billion in writedowns is attributed to failure to make the digital businesses profitable — and that continues to be the case. Finding an answer to this problem is the most interesting question we have right now, it’s the “grand challenge” of the Internet, the modern equivalent of the Gordian knot, imho.

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