If you think about the advertising industry, as I do, there's an article in today's "New York Times" that merits reading and reflection.
Over the last 30 years or so, and the trend has accelerated during today's era of digital mania, about half the industry's talk has been centered around "what's wrong with the advertising industry."
People have proffered all sorts of theses, but only rarely, if at all does someone come forth and say that the business has been "Wall-Streeted."
Advertising, when it finally came to the attention of bankers in the early 80s was considered an attractive field in which to invest. Agencies generated a lot of cash flow and, outside of offices and typewriters, needed no real equipment or infrastructure. It probably costs less in capital plant to get an agency up and running that it takes to start a nail salon.
The money boys saw this and pounced. Just as they did in the newspaper industry.
The Times reports on enormous bonuses being lavished on people high up in the Gannet and Tribune companies.
Here's the scorecard of one such bandit.
Recently, Craig A. Dubow resigned as Gannett’s chief executive. "His short six-year tenure was, by most accounts, a disaster. Gannett’s stock price declined to about $10 a share from a high of $75 the day after he took over; the number of employees at Gannett plummeted to 32,000 from about 52,000, resulting in a remarkable diminution in journalistic boots on the ground at the 82 newspapers the company owns."
Gannet's board gave Mr. Dubow just under $37.1 million in retirement, health and disability benefits, on top of a combined $16 million in salary and bonuses in the last two years.
What's happened in journalism has happened in advertising and in other industries. I actually don't think there's anything wrong with advertising that the money moguls didn't cause.
We've been strip-mined.
The wealth has been removed.
The land has been laid waste.
The robbers move on.