Showing posts from February, 2009


Family owned and controlled businesses face challenges because of difficulties in passing firms on to succeeding generations of the family. Tax issues are a common problem, but the biggest challenges involve finding effective managers among the family and the needs for new capital that diminishes family control.

How family members view the company over time create problems for sustainability. Individuals who establish firms tend to view it as a business enterprise; their children tend to see it as supporting the family; and multigenerational family businesses tend see it has providing status in the community. These latter priorities can interfere with profit and reinvestment objectives and endanger long-term sustainability.

As a consequence of these kinds of factors, only about 30% of family firms are passed to a second generation and only 13% reach a third generation.

This brings us to the challenges facing media firms. Three big companies—News Corp., Viacom, and New York Times Co.— all…

Why We Won't Pay for News

I recently forged my way the myriad of news reports on networks, papers, and web sites and discovered lots of attention-grabbing stories:
Reuters had a story about the death of Mickey Rourke’ 18-year-old pet chihuahua.CBS News reported on cart that transforms into a sleeping tent for the homeless.Associated Press told me that Twitter was limiting message length and intending to start testing ways to make money.The New York Times informed me about people walking and running in stairwells as a means of keeping fit.CNN reported that Lance Armstrong’s stolen bicycle had been recovered.The Los Angeles Times reported on a city council candidate criticizing a rival for being defense attorney that represented a client who was accused of shooting a sea lion four years ago.ABC News carried a story on its website about efforts to produce cola containing cow urine in India.MSNBC reported that Starbucks is increasing the products its offers in offers as part of an effort to improve its performance.…