Saint Paul of the Fraters Libertas alerts us to Nick Coleman’s latest exercise in inadvertant self-flagellation:
“When it bought the Star Tribune in 1998, McClatchy was a second-tier chain that had 10 dailies and a profit margin of 13 percent. Today, after buying its way into a far better club by using the Star Tribune for leverage, McClatchy has 32 papers and a profit margin of 26 percent.”
And the inevitable correction from the Star & Sickle:
Correction: Nick Coleman’s column incorrectly stated the McClatchy Company’s operating margins. McClatchy had an operating margin of 18.6 percent in 1998, the year it bought the Star Tribune. Its operating margin last year was 19 percent. In 1998, McClatchy’s free cash flow was 28.3 percent, as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. In 2005, its free cash flow was 25 percent.
Reading annual reports is hard! And to think that these stars of the mainstream who actually look down on the Internet media. I’m only surprised that he apparently managed to count the number of newspapers correctly. I would have expected him to report McClatchy owning fiver newspapers.