The news media business has been on shaky ground ever since the Internet started taking a bite out of its advertising revenue almost 20 years ago. The situation has grown even more precarious since the rise of social media disrupted the way many Americans get their news. Print media has been hit particularly hard, but television, radio and websites have struggled as well. What’s more, the media landscape has changed for large media corporations and small businesses alike.
One result of these changes is an increase in mergers and acquisitions in the media business. Recently, Colorado Public Radio acquired the website Denverite from the company Spirited Media. The move followed similar acquisitions in other markets, as other public radio organizations snapped up websites such as Gothamist, LAist and DCist.
These combinations can be good for giving established, professional news organizations a toehold in the world of online media, where small websites often have a much younger, and scrappier style, and they can give the young journalists who work at those websites the benefit of working with more established professionals. However, people who work at smaller media companies can feel a strong sense of culture clash when their organizations are swallowed by larger companies, and that feeling may be exacerbated by combing for-profit and nonprofit business models. Still, many observers are hopeful that such mergers and acquisitions will help people who work in the media business and the consumers who depend upon them for their news.
Business owners and managers have a lot to consider when undertaking mergers and acquisitions. It is important to seek out help from an attorney with experience in business law, mergers and acquisitions. A skilled lawyer can help at many stages in the process, from advising clients on their options to negotiating sales, drafting contracts and beyond.