Newspaper Company Builds Its Own Coffin

Scripps—the company that closed the Rocky Mountain News and posted a $220 million loss last quarter—is opening its brand new, $95 million headquarters for the Naples (FL) Daily News. It is the worst newspaper business thing ever.

They started building it five years ago, see, so back then it seemed like the thing to do! Now it seems like maybe the worst-timed, bad PR-accruing move by any newspaper company this year, which is saying a lot. The fact that it is terrible in every single way makes you almost, but not quite, feel sorry for the company.

Also Features An Expensive New Printing Press:"The Naples Daily News is about to move into a new multimillion-dollar headquarters with a state-of-the-art printing press that will be one of the fastest running in the newspaper industry in the U.S. today." Oh no.

This Man Is Not Particularly Wise:""It's probably unusual," [Philip Meyer, a former Knight Chairman in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] said of the new building. "But I don't think it's unwise."

This Man Is In A Rather Unenviable Position:"We do get questions from investors from time to time about it," said Mark Contreras, head of the newspaper division at E.W. Scripps. "We plowed ahead with the best information we had. I don't think anybody could have foreseen the enormity of the real estate bubble affecting Florida."

They Called Galileo Crazy, Too:"Clearly it's bad timing," Contreras said. "But that is if you look at a very short snippet of time."

Don't Worry; Other Failing Papers Are Doing the Same Catastrophic Thing:"The San Francisco Chronicle is about to open a new $200 million, 338,000-square-foot plant in cooperation with Transcontinental Inc., a Canadian company, that will do the printing for it."

Here Is Scripps Stock, From When This Project Was Conceived Up to Today:

Newspaper Company Builds Its Own Coffin



[Naples News via Romenesko]