On some days, I'm glad I don't work at a U.S. daily, and on others, I wonder why I don't just move to India and cash in. Bloomberg has this report announcing what many of us have known for some time: it's not worth investing in American newspapers anymore. But now, it's not just any yokel who's delivering the message. It's Warren Buffett.
"Almost all newspaper owners realize that they are constantly losing ground in the battle for eyeballs,'' Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman, wrote in his annual letter to shareholders published March 1. "If cable and satellite broadcasting, as well as the Internet, had come along first, newspapers as we know them probably would never have existed.''
The article points to the amazing rate of return in India and China...
Newspaper stocks overseas rose 25 percent on average in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as circulation grew in India and China. U.S. newspaper shares, by contrast, fell an average of 9.9 percent as readers' shift to the Internet cut into circulation.
Three of the 10 best performers are in India, where the economic growth rate is triple that of the U.S. Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. has surged 81 percent, HT Media Ltd. has rallied 66 percent and Jagran Prakashan Ltd. is up 56 percent. Two others are in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy.