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The Selling of Slate – Does Anybody Care?

October 13, 2004

What’s happening with the sale of Slate? The meta-media reporters were buzzing with this story back in late July and our moles told us they were aware of Slate suits talking to various suitors.
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When word of a deal like this leaks, it usually means a sale is imminent. So what’s going on here? Even is MSFT isn’t making much money off Slate, it’s certainly not losing much any more – so urgency isn’t driving this deal. We suspect the bean counters in Redmond have a price in mind, below which they are not willing to budge. Maybe that price is too dear for most potential buyers. Either way, this sale is a blip on the MSFT balance sheets and, as a result, may not be much of a priority in the executive suite.
It wouldn’t be the first time the media, while writing about the media, attached too much importance to a story of marginal importance.
Kudos to the Motley Fool for sticking with the story and putting it in the proper perspective. They cite a Seattle Times story that reinforces the a:c’s initial read on the situation. As we said in July: “Look for the Washington Post Company to make a more legitimate run at Slate. The MSNBC/Newsweek(owned by WaPo Co.)/Slate/MSN connection already exists — the deal could be hammered out over a latte in Redmond.”
Read: Washington Post Looking at Slate – [The Motley Fool – 10.01.04]
Read: Washington Post is close to buying Slate, reports say [The Seattle Times – 09.30.04]
Read: Slate on the Block – [alarm:clock – 07.26.04]

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