There is something in the media/advertising water. Having had DoubleClick and RightMedia dealt for, and Dow Jones kinda put in play, and Microsoft noshing with Yahoo on a deal, word is now that Reuters has been approached by a group, which one paper alleges is Thomson Financial.
While this will come as no real surprise — Reuters had been bandied as a target for some time — it is still testimony to a rapidly changing business media landscape. While some insiders wrongheadedly think that people are newly finding the real value in the reporting side of the sector, the truth is entirely different.
Data, to quote my friend Tim, is the Intel inside. More than 90% of Reuters revenues come from trading and data, not reporting, and Dow Jones is not dissimilar. The real story here is the rise to supremacy of data, not a sudden whack-on-the-head discovery of the primacy of business & financial reporting.
[Update] Phil Pearlman has been drinking the biz media water, and he thinks GE should get in the game and buy the NYT, integrate it into NBCU, and then spin out the whole lot and call it a day. Ballsy, true, interesting, and unlikely.
[Update^2] Just to drive the point home that acquirer interest has diddly to do with the reporting side of media, check the just-released WashPost results: First-quarter profit were off 16%, largely because of crummy ad performance in the newspaper, magazine and television broadcasting
divisions — in other words, in all of its traditional business.