Baba O’Reilly takes on Greenslade

Here we go.

Greenslade blogs:

In many ways the O’Brien saga is a distraction from the stark reality facing a company that has put its faith in the longevity of newsprint and averted its gaze from the digital future. It has invested online, of course, but it is way behind many other newspaper companies.

The consequence of playing the digital ostrich is that INM is hurt more by the newsprint advertising downturn than those publishers who have been chasing online revenues fo several years.

Note the tone of INM’s trading update. While claiming that revenues were “marginally ahead in constant currency terms” so far this year, advertising conditions remained volatile in the second quarter. Volatile is usually code for problematic. So, in plain-speak, revenue is falling and likely to fall further in the second half of the year.

Baba O’Reilly replies:

Firstly, for the record, at INM we make no apologies whatsoever for putting our “faith” in newspapers/ newsprint, as our record 2007 results speak to (advertising growth, circulation growth and record profits)… On the face of it, that’s just good business and that might just appear to your readers to be a winning strategy (and perhaps, other media groups should follow our lead?)


Being at the vanguard of digital developments as we are, your somewhat strident (and mistaken) views on INM might have been suitably moderated by revealing (or at least reflecting) some of INM’s other digital ventures/ investments, such as the hugely successful creation, expansion and flotation (and subsequent profitable sale for c. €100m) of iTouch PLC (mobile content), as well as INM’s recent investments in price comparison (Germany), mobile VoIP, image search and online bingo/ gaming.

Denver the last dinosaur:
Dinosaur and Astronaut
Photo owned by Tom Hilton (cc)

2 Responses to “Baba O’Reilly takes on Greenslade”

  1. NiallOK says:

    The DJ and Goon Show fanatic in me saw the title of the post and thought … “a remix of The Who and BBC Light Programme announcer Wallace Greenslade? NO WAI!”

  2. Adam says:

    Greenslade’s attitude towards INM is bizarre.

    On the one hand he is known for saying that newsprint is dying and will be dead in the near future – he repeatedly calls on newspaper companies to fix their gaze online if they want to avoid going under as a result of this.

    But in the O’Reilly / O’Brien saga he unapologetically supports O’Reilly because he’s the only man likely to continue to keep The (UK) Independent afloat despite it losing money year on year for God knows how long.

    Obviously Greenslade has plenty of reasons for wanting to see the ‘paper remain and he’s perfectly entitled to back the guy who he thinks will do best by the British media landscape… But surely there’s some hypocrisy in telling everyone that print is dying and that we should all let it go, only for him to then criticising O’Brien because he might actually take the first step in fulfilling that prophecy?