The other day I fell upon a crazy conjunction of numbers.
One was the price Facebook paid for Instagram: $1.1 billion.
The second is the market capitalization of The New York Times Company. The New York Times Company owns The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, about.com, and the Regional Media group which includes 15 award-winning newspapers scattered throughout the Southeast and California.
Its market cap is currently $916.4 million.
About $200 million less than Instagram.
The New York Times is widely considered among the most important newspapers in the world. It is on the reading list of most national and global political and business leaders. A single page of ad space costs in the six figures. nytimes.com and about.com are the 34th and 38th most visited sites in the US. The Times is the best-selling paper in the most important city in the world. The Herald Tribune is read by movers and shakers around the world. The Boston Globe is the best-selling paper in the most important city in New England.
Yet the Times Company is worth $200 million--about 20% less than Instagram. An entity that hasn't yet proven it can make money.
Many of us disparage bankers and brokers when their financial sleight-of-hand nearly collapses the world economy. Marketing people, however, accept the valuation of those same bankers and brokers when their views align.
Yeah. I know.
Newspapers are old media.
No one reads them anymore.
And I'm, also, old.
And don't matter anymore.
But I just don't understand.