News of the impending sale of Britain’s Telegraph Group, publishers of one of the nation’s best quality dailies, says it’s all about the fate of newspapers.

Why? Because the owners, Scotland’s Barclay Brothers, are seeking €200m (which doesn’t mean they’ll get it), this after paying €665m for it 15 years ago.

Plenty happens in Britain, thus there’s heaps to write about. But that matters not a whit. The plain fact is the younger generations are not interested, either in the news, or, if interested, in receiving it by newsprint. So too here in New Zealand where very little happens and thus newspapers must rely on columnists and mostly make up stories to present as news. They do that by puffing up often quite trivial matters, but what’s their alternative? Blank pages?

Fairfax are trying to sell the Stuff chain and have turned down some offers. It’s my pick they’ll regret that for as a general rule, when trying to sell a declining value asset, and there’s no greater sunset industry than newspapers, history says the first offers usually turn out to have been the best. So leave plenty in for any buyer as an inducement and cut and run is usually the smartest strategy.

Presumably they’ve opted to hang on in so long as Stuff turns a profit, which it still does, and then deal with the redundancy mess when the day comes.


The theory of optimal stopping also applies which states that for whatever time period has been set for the sale, the best offer should be taken after 37% of the period has elapsed. See “Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions” (2016) for more information. https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B015DLA0LE

I agree…NZH, Stuff and even Newshub make up stories to present as news and puff up trvial matters. They are all pathetic.

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