Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brian Tierney on bankers these days

I like the Michael Smerconish Show, and frankly suspect anybody who doesn't.

This morning he interviewed Brian Tierney, the managing partner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News (who put up $10m of his own money to keep the papers local).

The interview, which you can hear as a podcast here, is interesting for a number of reasons.

The most interesting is when Tierney talks about banks. The Daily News saw profits drop from $51m to $36m last year, but still turned a profit. The corporation filed for Chapter 11 to restructure its debt. Tierney discusses the representatives from Citigroup and other banks riding down to Philly in their limos to make demands and give him advise that he has to take because they are covenanted creditors, for whose consultations he must pay $300k per month.

Tierney points out the incredible irony of bankers who are on the public dole, and whose stocks have tanked by 90-96% of last year's value coming in to give business advice to a set of newspapers that's still turning a profit.

Worth a listen.

Smerconish, by the way, is not a typical conservative talking head. I frequently disagree with him, especially on foreign policy, but unlike the shouters he's literate, respectful of guests and callers, and actually has points of view that are his own.

Plus, he's funny.


Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

Smerconish is the sort of conservative you see too little of. Here in Stromland the leading right wing aggregator is busy purging bloggers not conservative enough- all three bright, thoughtful, but independent minds.

Anonymous said...

I like Mike. Biggest downside? he voted for Obama!

Anonymous said...

I also like Smerconish, as frequently seen as a panalist on various MSNBC evening shows. I agree with your commentary on him, Steve.

The fact that he voted for Obama is an upside, in my view.

Mike is a conservative, but an independent thinker as well. I put Steve in the same category.

Perry Hood

Steven H. Newton said...

I'll accept that as an intended compliment, but I am not in any way, shape, or form a conservative.

Again, I draw your attention to the title of this blog.

How do you get to be considered a conservative if you are pro-gay rights, pro-abortion rights, anti-US imperialist interventionist foreign policy?

Anonymous said...

Point taken, Steve. And yes, it was meant to be a compliment, though an off-base one as it turns out.

Anonymous said...

Tierney took $300-$400 million in loans from these guys. If they insist he must at least listen to their advice, that hardly seems unfair. If he did not want to have banks looking over his shoulder, he should have found the several hundred million he needed elsewhere (and he had a fat chance of doing that.) Plus, I find it absurd that he keeps saying he makes a profit - he only can say that when he omits one very major expense he signed up for - the interest payments. All he does is spin. Surprised he has not gotten dizzy yet. I have no sympathy. None.