The group that owns many media properties been sold to billionaire Sam Zell. The Tribune Company controls 16 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, in addition to 26 radio and television stations and other businesses. With past success in real estate, rail cars and container leasing, Mr. Zell has no business experience with the web or search engines.
A quote from Mr. Zell:
“If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be? Not very.”
According to the Google Zeitgeist people are not searching for mainstream news. Google and the other search engine’s success in fact has nothing to do with newspapers, and in the near future it could very well be the reverse: newspaper readership has been actively declining and Google searches have been surging.
Imagine a scenerio where Tribune found itself completely dependent on google for their readership, just like many other businesses today. Yes, google is a dominating force that. Most web bloggers understand this.
One does not become a billionaire by being ineffective and obtuse. What Mr. Zell did is ignite a media frenzy around his new company and has people talking about, and linking to his websites. This is awesome linkbait, and bloggers (myself included) fell for it hard.
If this is just linkbait, my hat is off to you Mr. Zell, for you will do well online as a master at generating controversy.