Pink's Bottom Line on Media, Money and Sports

Newspaper layoffs, new car prices and the Los Angeles Clippers

In today’s newsletter, I discuss newspaper layoffs, new car prices and the Los Angeles Clippers.

MEDIA: Newspaper Layoffs

Newspapers continued to struggle with layoffs last year, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

In 2020, 33% of larger newspapers — those with a Sunday circulation greater than 50,000 —had layoffs compared to 24% in 2019, according to that data.

Notably, for the biggest newspapers — those with a Sunday circulation of 250,000 or higher — 55% had layoffs in 2020 compared to 27% in 2019.

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However, layoffs in news organizations weren’t confined only to traditional newspapers, according to Pew’s data.

Among large digital news publications — those with an average of at least ten million unique users per month — 18% had layoffs in 2020 compared to 11% in 2019.

It appears that the economic impact of the pandemic took its toll on newsrooms — both traditional and digital — last year.

MONEY: New Car Prices

Nearly three out of every four consumers expect higher prices when they shop at dealerships for new vehicles, according to a survey from Kelley Blue Book conducted in late April.

Surprisingly, most consumers do not plan to postpone their purchases, and about 40% say they would shell out and pay above the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) for a new vehicle, according to that survey.

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Microchip shortages around the world have caused delays in the manufacturing of new cars, and that has caused limited inventory of new vehicles.

As such, with that limited inventory and with strong consumer demand, car prices likely will continue to rise in the coming coming months.

However, as automakers overcome those microchip shortages, manufacturing should increase once again, which should alleviate some pricing pressure on consumers — perhaps as soon as the end of the year.

SPORTS: The Los Angeles Clippers

The NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers lost the first game of their first round playoff series last night to the Dallas Mavericks.

If the Clippers do lose this series — it’s early but it still looks very possible — then the team would have underperformed expectations for the past two seasons.

The Clippers added superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to their roster two years ago, and many expected those two players to lead the team to at least an NBA Finals appearance either last season or this year.

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While there clearly still is plenty of time for the Clippers to rebound and make some noise in the playoffs this season, the team could face upheaval if it doesn’t make it out of the first round.

Leonard will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and he is able to head elsewhere once the season concludes.

George, for his part, signed a longer-term contract with the Clippers so he is on the roster for at least the next two seasons.

If the Clippers do make an early exit in the playoffs again this year — they lost in the second round last season — look for the team to seek a trade for George and look for the Kawhi Leonard free agency speculation to reach a fevered pitch.

Jeremy Pink is currently COO of Geniecast, a leading virtual content and experience company. He is the former CEO of private-equity backed Broadcast Sports International where he helped lead the company to a successful sale and exit during his tenure there. He is also a former CNBC television executive in New York, London and Singapore.

The information contained in this communication is strictly for general informational and entertainment purposes and is not meant to be construed as financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. This communication is not a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. I am not a financial advisor or offering professional advice of any kind. Users should not act upon the content or information found within this communication without first seeking professional advice appropriate for their individual situation. Decisions based on information contained in this communication are the sole responsibility of the user, and use of this communication and its contents constitutes an explicit understanding and acceptance of the foregoing disclaimers.

(Newsletter Editor: Karina Pink)