Best Business Commentary
December 21, 2007
Zell behind the wheel, driving blind?
Sam Zell “got the keys” to Tribune Co. yesterday, but “does he have any idea what he’s doing?” says Louis Hau in Forbes.com. The newspaper business is “tanking,” and not even its “brightest minds” have found ways to “staunch hemorrhaging losses in advertising revenue and print circulation.” Zell wants to increase revenue rather than cut overhead. But with a “staggering $13 billion” in debt, he’ll have to resort to “buyouts and layoffs,” outsource work, shrink circulation, and sell assets. He probably doesn’t have a specific plan, but look for the “maverick” Zell to “try just about anything to drum up business,” and fast. “Fasten your seatbelts.”
Patience can pay off
“If you thought the discounts were big before Christmas, just wait until Dec. 26th,” says Suzanne Kapner in CNNMoney.com. After Christmas—and even as early as Dec. 21, “the shipping deadline for products guaranteed to arrive by Christmas Day”—is when the real sales begin. This year, women’s apparel and consumer electronics should be some of the “biggest deals,” while toy prices “have less room to fall.” Retailers will be especially eager to have you come in and spend your gift cards, and then some. So “if you don’t need to buy that gift (for yourself, perhaps) for a few more days, it might pay to wait.”
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