A merger for the ailing Salon Magazine looks remote as all that the damsel in distress has to offer to her white knight is over two million dollars of debt. Several things are troubling the magazine. It is suffering from what the entire news industry is suffering and that is a dramatic and growing disinterest in the news. Part of this no doubt stems from the fact that the average American is bombarded more frequently by the news than they are advertising, both of which are floundering.
The FCC changed its regulations which allowed an entity to own only five television stations to twenty. The networks all bought the largest twenty markets and became more enthused with a two hour local news block than their national news whose viewers average sixty years of age. Cable television provides round the clock coverage but people who watch these shows are dumbfounded to find out that they aren’t that highly rated. Occasionally, Bill O’Reilly will crack cables top twenty watched shows of the week but rarely.
As far as Salon, merger isn’t really possible. It can be yours for the asking. After contacting a broker I found that Salon is trading on the “bulletin” board which means it is valued at less than a dollar a share. The broker could not find a firm price but he had heard the last time it traded it was for $.00.05 a share.
Being San Francisco based is nice but the action is in D.C. and even New York would be a better place than the Bay. Salon is not the only online news source in trouble. The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek which was purchased for one dollar last month in an attempt to save its staff.
Salon once was a novelty, an online news magazine but this is hardly the case any longer as every news source seems to have an online edition and for most people checking their mail will give them all the news they need or at least want.
The local television news is floundering as well as staff, particularly writers, has been cut and talking heads take a fiscal decapitation or walk.
Salon is changing some. It is no longer one editorial after another but seems to be moving towards features which is what many news sources are doing. The local news sources are focusing on local issues. It could use Open Salon’s Nick Leshi on a regular basis who writes extremely well and about things people wish to read. As stupid as it sounds, having worked for news organizations, the first on line magazine crossword would help. It was the leading subject of phone calls to every paper I ever worked for.
This is what is “trending” on Yahoo as I write this piece:
Salon earned a reputation for its unflagging defense of Bill Clinton, who received a hummer in the Oval Office then lied about it under oath, during the ensuing impeachment hearings and votes. Salon is also known around Capitol Hill as the news source for its strong pro Gay stance.
If you want to own the magazine you won’t be able to get a loan in fact Salon’s current state reminds me of the song Papa was a Rolling Stone (and when he died all he left us was a loan).
A new chapter is going to be written for Salon, or another chapter will open, Chapter 13.