Catherine Forsythe

Catherine Forsythe
know a bit about computer security, dogs, horses, skiing, medicine and making risotto. My nickname in real life/online is "Noggie" - I'm on Twitter, with the @dogreader account.

NOVEMBER 29, 2010 1:00PM Is A Target for Merger and Acquisition

Rate: 56 Flag

It is with some irony that on the day called Cyber Monday, where people online do some significant buying, that is in the news. The financial pressures upon may force a media merger or an outright acquisition:

"...  15-year-old Salon has been unable to stanch its red ink. Salon Media Group Inc. has racked up net losses of more than $15 million in the past five years, with nearly a third of that coming in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010.

Richard Gingras, Salon's chief executive, said the site has made "substantial progress," noting that in the first half of the current fiscal year it cut operating losses almost in half to $1.2 million. He said it is investing more in lifestyle content and less in its core areas of politics and news, as part of an effort to expand its audience and boost ad revenue. But Salon might need to become part of a stable of media properties to stem its losses, he said."

While this is interesting from a media and a marketing perspective, this news item is significant for the regular visitors and contributors of this site, The question becomes "what will happen to this website?".

As many experienced internet users know, change can happen quickly. Often internet sites are functioning at the beginning of one month and become part of online history at the end of that same month. 

No one seems to know the fate of this site - and, if they do, the news has not been released to the media. For us who frequent this small section of the Information Highway, it may be prudent to make back-up copies of all important work that has been submitted here. Further, it may be wise to have some actual email addresses of friends. 

As Yoda said, "Impossible to see the future is". And Yoda did not have financial red ink. 

Catherine Forsythe
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When a business takes over another business, it's Katie bar the door. I'm glad you posted this, I now have to spend the rest of the day backing up my files. Thanks~
If I lose everything, I lose everything. Fortunately, I can write more. If I have time, I'll try to back up all of my stuff. If not, I'll wave it goodbye in the ether.
I wikied Salon when I first started posting in July. It once had an eighty million dollar debt so this is a reduction. It once had sports page and seemed more like a newspaper. I even posted things about Salon. Joan Walsh leaving is no accident. The magazine has pretty much become an editorial outlet and not a news one. I honestly do not know who would want to buy it. It seems to employ an enormous number of people for what it does. Check out a site I appear on frequently, Paltalk which is published on a song.
First, I never write directly to "New Post". I always write in Word, save to my hard drive and then post.
Second, I'm not really that surprised that is on the "auction block". Although I'm a bit surprised that the operating losses are so small given the context of the money that revolves around and through internet media today (I thought that rather than 8 digits it might be 9--a few million here, a few million there and pretty soon you're talking about real money)
I have a bad feeling about this.
Now backing up.........beep beep beep
Does anyone here want to puke at this news??
I love this place. There is no other close on the 'net.
I do not like even the thoughts here I have.
Yike! Thanks for the warning...
Yes Catherine, in an cyber second everything can change here on-line. I always make copies of writing that is important to me published here. It's the relationships developed over time that would be the real loss. I do have most of my good buds' emails but there's still so many more I would miss. People can say what they want about this "place" but news like this (which has been on-going...) makes one appreciate this free forum more, doesn't it ?
I am going to back up files too. You just never know
Thanks for this Catherine..
rated with hugs
This is sad. I would miss you, Catherine. I'm going to send you my email addy.
Yep. That is what I always wondered about.
Thanks for this. What I would hate the most, if OS were to be eliminated, are the wonderful people who seem to thrive here.
I don't even know where to look for their personal email addresses.
rated with love
I have a Yahoo webpage they can merge with.
Good to know. I only started posting yesterday, so only have 2 entries... and one comment. But I'll make sure to back up those and any future blog posts to Word in the case I ever become famous, and want to show how I went back to writing after a 5 year absence. ;)
:( I will miss this place
It's never personal; it's always business.
Okay, I feel the wagons circling, women and children, in the back! Remember to be thrifty with the bullets. Make them count!Anyone who is comfortable leaving his or her email or cell # with me, please send me such to or call me at 401-789-1971, in the event we are shut down or shut out.
I'd be interested to know how much they value OS? Maybe it would be a good time to go all United Artists on them and buy out the part we care about. I'd love to see some numbers!
Help, help, I'm melting.....
To the cloud! Copy and paste your stuff at a plan B site. I'm going to buy a ream and a cauldron of ink and print my crap out, too.

Then, come what may, your precious writings will be protected.

But I still can't understand how a WEBSITE with advertising revenue can bleed such ink!

Ludmillia Jones at Facebook

xenonlit at Twitter

Owner of Club ZUZU
How does one back up all posts done on the site vs. done on Word?

Need technical help or I am SOL if this goes off line. Thanks!
Blogspot is hosted by Google, is free and is not going anywhere. That's one way of backing up.
Who wouldn't want to keep OS as a source of free content? We might be Salon Inc.'s best assets.

but better save than sorry.

Awaiting instructions.
Oh, I have always archived my stuff - draft to word, then copy and paste to the blog. If all else fails, then I will shift to posting more on my wordpress site, or to the original mil-blog.
But yeah, fore-warned is fore-armed.
What Just Thinking said-- and rated all over the place.
I think we should all chip in and buy OS...then we could all be on the front page.
Seriously...thanks for the heads up on backing up our files.
You never know.
Catherine, when Joan Walsh left recently, didn't you think that wasn't a good sign?
thanks to everyone for stopping by...

I have a question. Is an article about backing up Open Salon postings necessary? Let me know if it is and I will try to put some suggestions together... or someone can volunteer to do it. Please let me know if it is necessary. Thanks!
A post about how to save OS writings might be good. Something many people don't know is that even if a post is deleted from Open Salon, it can be found for some time afterwards in Google cache, complete with comments and so forth.
I am going to back up all my work tonight. Thank you so much Catherine. My email is R+
But we could end up in that stable too!!! Oh my yes!! :D
Thanks for this information. Change does happen so fast. rated
Yah, I learned the hard way to back everything up. I use the "save page as" function to store the posts on the hard drive AND on a memory stick. Takes seconds.

Reason I do it that way is two-fold. One, I'm an inveterate tinkerer (NOT Tink). I write the stuff in Open Office but fiddle with it after I create a post. Second, I want to keep the comments people make.
Can we all decide where to jump ship to together so we can find each other elsewhere if OS is gone forever one morning????
I'd miss you all so much!!
Yeah ... what Just Thinking said. Anyone got some ideas????? I'd hate to lose contact with those on my favourites list.
Catherine YES. Please explain how to back up posts with images. How ans where? I have my texts on word documents but I'd like to save the posts as they are wit all the images and possibly the comments. Please keep in mind you are not talking to a very computer literate, so don't use abbreviations or anagrams, please. Thanks very much. ~Rated
I have to back my laptop today, anyway. Ewww.

I am with Fred.. I would love to see the numbers
Catherine, thanks very much for the info on this.

However, we must remember what Mark Twain once said:
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

and also what Yogi Berra mentioned:
"It ain't over till it's over."
Thanks for this. Dammit.

Salon is selling at ten cents a share OTC...I said it a few weeks
Oh boy. I've just spent some time checking out some other blog sites. Yikes. Nothing like OS! Fiddle sticks!
It all sounds too much like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
I write on Microsoft Live Writer. The only thing I back up are the poems. The rest I don't care about. It'll limp along more and more as an essay site.
Mr. Trost: That's mean to equate those of us who are quills or other alternate beings with cockroaches....very mean, actually.
I don't judge you-- you don't need to judge those who don't want to expose their face and name to the whole world.

"I forewarned bloggers about this. I told Cartouche on skype in September that OS wouldn't be here at Christmas time. "

... That is why he spent the month of October 2010 and half of November 2010 uploading 30 posts a day to "his archive" at Open Salon.

That makes sense...
Well... it sadness me that I came late.. I didn´t have time to get to know very well those who I started to care about weeks ago... I thought OS was my place but since is going to the bucket I guess we all are too...
And like Fusun said... I want to backup the posts with the images and the comments.. how can I don that please?
Rated for great information
Sh#t. I really love it here. ~r
"Sh#t. I really love it here. ~r"

Joan: Didn't I recently read that you teach kindergarten? If so, isn't this what happens right before the bell rings? "He threw sand in my face first! . . .etc"
What if we all sent our emails to our favorite list?
Just a thought.
@Conrad~ sometimes, yes. :)
Oh wow. I hate reading this. I wonder if requiring a small charge to blog here would help? It would also help with the spam problem. It does seem like those of us who use the site to promote ourselves and our writing should pony up, the same as if we were to find a host for our own site.
I would be interested in how you do backups for articles. I could use it for some of my school work.
You can copy/paste anything on your blog to WORD as backup.
I'm freaking out, backing up files, and generally experiencing agita. If something bad does happen to OS, thanks for cushioning the shock by letting us know in advance.
One should never rely on an online entity existing beyond the current. It is far too easy to put up, and subsequently take down, a website.

This should be a lesson to all that entrusting your hard work to cyberspace alone is ill-advised. It isn't as though the writing were not already on the wall for all to see, as this has been approaching an apex for some time.
I always write in notepad and store everything in Access database which makes it easy to generate books in Word.

Search Surazeus and you will only find me.

I love and so I hope both thrive no matter what happens.
Oh, and for those seeking a bit of solace - the simplest backup you can do is right from your browser window.

Simply open one of your posts for viewing, then click on "File" and then (if in Firefox) "Save Page As" and let it default to "Web Page - Complete". It will save all of the comments, the thumbnails - in essence, the entire page.

Additionally, there are tools out there that can be used to archive web pages if one but Googles (or whatever may pass for Google at this moment).

"But for those who hide behind avatars and pseudonyms.
Cockroaches always scatter when the lights are flipped on."
AS writes of "agita"...
ever since I wrote my 1ts blog, I was nervous that open salon could disappear with a flash into the ether. cyberspace is littered with the corpses/dust of dead companies/web sites. the list is long.
cyberspace is even more transitory than physical reality.
if it does disappear, that would be quite the zenlike lesson.....
"This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain." The Buddha.
It's not that simple Stellaa. I'm not worried about losing my posts; they can always be saved, for whatever that's worth. It's more about OS being gone. I have blogs at other places, but none of them remotely resemble Open Salon. I've looked for other places like this, but there's nothing out there that is even close.
Didn't Newsweek get sold for a dollar, or some such sum?
I say a few of us pitch in to buy Salon when the price hits $20.
I have $3 to throw at this, but for that price I'm on the board of directors and damnit, I get a weekly cover slot.

Salon needs a new image, and perhaps a slant towards an older, wealthier and more easily frightened demographic. Those folks click on Metamucil and bulk purchase Depends ads like chickens peck corn meal. All we need is more writing that appeals to the elderly.
Think content for the incontinent...
We'll get rich!
Who's in?
Thank you for all you have done to help folks out here.
This is something we need to think about and prepare for even if it does not occur and we are somehow saved.
Sounds like things go fast when they go so will pen my So Long post soonly.
I have my own stuff backed up but how would I preserve all the great memories of comments and private messages? Try and print them out? This is indeed sad news.
I sure am glad someone is paying attention. Now I have to check out your back-up post. I used to spend a lot of time here posting blather and dribble. I'd hate to lose all of that hard work. Much of dribble is already in Word, but to lose all the blather would really hurt. Thanks for this!
Thanks for posting. I am fairly new to Open Salon and appreciate its promise as a blog community. I certainly hope OS and will be able to stick around without completing changing its focus and purpose, but I will prepare for the alternative.
Following this story closely. Would love to see Salon stay independent, but above would love to see it SURVIVE, so if the only way to do that is via merger or acquisition, then I'm all for it. Of course, we have a vested interest because we want to see the Open Salon blogosphere survive as well. Fingers crossed!
Ugh. Not that this is a great shock. This site has been going seriously downhill for over a year now.

As for back-up, instead of writing a Word doc (or in addition), post on a sturdy platform like Blogger or Wordpress. My blog entries are always published there first. That way you have HTML stuff in tact.
I found this at "Poynter":

"Why may find a buyer hard to come by

Crain's New York Business |

"One issue for them might be that they have [too much] of a political profile for a media organization that sees itself as neutral," says Slate's Jacob Weisberg. "And they've been overtaken [on the left] by The Huffington Post in some respects." || Shira Ovide: Who wants to buy Salon? Anyone?
> Headline from 2003: may fold within two weeks
Posted at 4:57 PM Nov. 29, 2010"

If you google, you can find this.
Emily mentioned that the WSJ article had rattled some Open folk, so I came over to take a look. Yikes!

Look, any media company today that's not really, really huge would be nuts not to consider merger or acquisition options right now. But there's no reason for the nightmare scenarios -- I can't imagine any potential owner or partner not valuing Open enormously. There's nothing else like it -- a blog network filled with exceedingly smart people who can write. I have no reason to think Open Salon is going anywhere.

As for issues with the site -- I know all about them, and we're doing all we can. I know Emily has been keeping you updated on spam issues -- and I'm really thrilled we've finally put the controls in the hands of our trusted and diligent members. Many a night have I sat at home knocking off spammers one by one as they start popping up on Open, "clogging the feed" as some of you put it. I know Emily (and Thomas) have done the same thing. It's great to have help. But if progress has slowed, it's because the Salon mothership has required more of our Tech department's help, as part of a reasonably big overhaul. Once that's finished, we're hoping we can follow that up with some bigger changes to Open that will help -- a lot -- in the coming months.

Yes, that's maddeningly vague, but I promise to report progress some time soon, when we have a firmer time line in place. We should know a lot more in the coming month.

I have just started to work so it has been tough to get on OS...Thanks for posting.
From Forbes:

Salon May Need Buyer To Keep Doors Open
Betsy Schiffman, 07.11.00, 12:05 PM ET isn't a big company. It's not even a big magazine. Yet, for the amount of press coverage the site gets, you'd think it was a conglomerate the size of Time Warner.

Salon's name saln (nasdaq: saln - news - people) graces the pages of Web business publications almost as frequently as Richard Simmons appears on talk shows in short shorts. Last month San Francisco-based Salon reported annual revenues of $8 million and a net loss of $21.9 million. It has a meager market value of about $18 million, and most of its revenue is derived from ad sales. It's not the most promising of businesses. But Salon is one of the few Web publications that semisuccessfully made its way to the public market, and for that reason alone, it's become the yardstick by which the industry measures the value of Internet content in the marketplace.

In recent months, however, the outlook hasn't been bright. Salon completed its public offering in June 1999 with shares closing at $10, but the stock is now on the verge of getting booted by the Nasdaq. Lately, shares have hovered just above $1, Nasdaq's required minimum bid price. If shares of Salon fall below $1 for 30 trading days, or six consecutive weeks, it can expect to receive a warning letter from the National Association of Securities Dealers that it has 90 days to shape up or ship out.

On July 10, two other online content sites, and Feed magazine, announced plans to merge under a newly formed company, Automatic Media--in which Lycos lcos (nasdaq: lcos - news - people) is taking a 25% stake. Although finances are a concern for every Internet company, Feed co-founder Stefanie Syman swears money wasn't the driving force behind the merger. "I think that Feed could have gone on independently, and done very well in advertising indefinitely, but that's a smaller and less ambitious business," Syman says.

And on the Internet, there's no room for smaller, less ambitious businesses. With increasing pressure on Internet companies to merge, acquire and consolidate, small and independent just doesn't cut it anymore. So, what's to become of Salon?

It could be a rough road ahead if the company doesn't get hitched quickly. "You look back at the history of content, and it's always taken many years to get to profitability. It takes five years just to tell people who you are," says Abishek Gami, an analyst at the New York-based William Blair & Co.

Salon first told mainstream America who it was when it published the controversial story about Henry Hyde's extramarital affair in 1998. In Sept. 1999, the company was still spending heavily on branding and launched a flashy $4 million television advertising campaign.

And according to a document recently filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, marketing costs aren't going down anytime soon. "Salon intends to continue to make significant financial investments in content, marketing and promotion and the development of technology and infrastructure. As a result, Salon believes it will incur additional operating losses and negative cash flows from operations for the foreseeable future," reads the statement that sounds a lot like scores of other dot-com companies.

But now, with nearly 5 years under its belt and shares that are trading for less than a pack of bubble gum, it could be a little late to promote Salon--unless it's to a parent company.
Thanks for this important insight Catherine.
Thanks for sharing this. I always appreciate when people post news like this that keeps us all informed.
Best Wishes,
Just got to this post. I'm not sure what to make of it. Catherine is always the soul of good advice so I appreciate it on that level. Backing up files? Sure, if you want to save what you wrote.
As for the comments: Exchanging e-mails? Of course, if you want to stay in touch. Discussing ways of helping to keep OS alive? Why not, if anyone is listening (Kerry seems to be, but no one knows how the new owners may view OS as "product")
Panicking? Seems a bit premature although understandable, especially if you have posts you haven't backed up (in which case, take Catherine's advice)

Continuing the snark wars of the past or using the comments to wage personal warfare? Completely unnecessary and kind of old school. Being a troll is so yesterday--unless you think getting down and dirty IS the point of OS.
"..being a troll is so yesterday..."
I love this comment : )
It's all those PMs I've stored away to blackmail people with that I'm worried about... Trig can never run for office, that's all I'm sayin'.

**background sounds of hard drive duplication in process**
Am I the only one who thought it a little curious that Trost Skyped with Cartouche?

Give it up Patricia! What's going on with you two?
Noooo....I just joined. And I love watching Joan Walsh...didn't even know she was here and gone...ah ya ya