Lots of Media Money But Not Many Journalism Jobs

By Jack Limpert

The T. Rowe Price Media and Telecommunications Fund has been a great mutual fund investment, growing at 18 percent a year over the past five years. Does that mean the world of journalism is doing better than what you might get from reading Romenesko?

The fund’s ten largest holdings? American Tower, Baidu, Crown Castle International, Priceline, Liberty Global, Amazon, Google, Comcast, Facebook, Verizon.

What’s American Tower? “Two of our top-10 contributors,” the fund says, “American Tower and Crown Castle International operate wireless cell towers, which we think is the best business model in the sector.”

Another leading contributor was Baidu, the Google of China.

Companies classified as media are 61 percent of the fund’s holdings—that segment includes cable/satellite (Comcast, Time Warner Cable), gaming (Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Macau), internet e-commerce (Amazon, Priceline, Angie’s List), internet media (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter), and “media & entertainment.”

“Media & entertainment” is where the New York Times Company would be if the fund owned its stock, which it doesn’t. The fund does own News Corp, Walt Disney, Viacom, Twenty-First Century Fox, Netflix, and Discovery Communications. The message there is that television and movies is where the media money is.

For journalists the main message of the fund’s holdings is that Wall Street sees no future in print. As for digital journalism, most of the money being made is not in creating content but in how consumers access the content: Comcast, Verizon, Google, Facebook.

BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and the other fast-growing digital journalism sites? Will they stay independent and be good places to do journalism? Will they go public and be owned by mutual funds? Any predictions?
Here’s a post from a year ago with more on Wall Street and journalism.

And another post from a year ago on how rich guys—Jeff Bezos, Robert Allbritton, David Bradley, Michael Bloomberg, John Henry, Warren Buffett, etc.—control more and more journalism jobs.


  1. If there is no money in creating content and it’s only about the access, the content will of necessity drop to the lowest of levels. There has to be a motivation, including financial motivation, to create interesting and important content that is relevant to the building up of our society. Otherwise, it will all just go downhill.

    This explains why we are seeing what we are seeing today.

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