Thursday, 10 January 2008

2007: How was it for the International Herald Tribune

If you want the International Herald Tribune to continue, as I do, then you need it to make money. How it makes money I've blogged about, but the basis premise that the IHT should be profitable is one that I agree with as a reader.

I don't see why it should be obliged to run as a not-for-profit organisation although that would be one of the most enduring and remarkable philanthropic legacies the very rich Sulzberger family could donate to the world. Imagine that, a non-for-profit free global media outlet, not run by the U.S government like Voice of America.

With my business person's hat on I would say it should have been making money for years; unfortunately at the time the WSJ and particularly the FT entered the international market back in the 1980s the management of the IHT and its board of NYT and WP executives were completely asleep at the wheel. But that's ancient history...

The good news is that according to what I am hearing the IHT had a great year in 2007, way up on 2006 (double digit millions) and some way ahead of the profitability targets set by the IHT's lords and masters in New York.

And no one can argue the paper isn't a better read. How much of a better read depends a little on your taste for the tastes and interests of the very rich.

On the downside, the advertising market for 2008, and indeed the general economic outlook itself isn't that hot, so 2008 is going to be a tight year.

It ain't over yet then, but 2008, beginning around July of this year, is going to have to start seeing the first sketches of a budget for 2009 that makes NY sit up and want to keep moving forward.

If not, all bets are off.

No comments: