February 10, 2016 Last Updated 10:02 am

Press goes apoplectic over NH primary results, the HuffPost totally loses it; newspaper stocks continue to take a beating

Morning Brief: Daily News and Huffington Post express strong distaste for Trump victory, while on the Democratic side, the big victory by Sanders does little to eat into Clinton’s delegate lead thanks to superdelegates

The results are in from the first in the nation primary: Donald Trump has won his first primary, while Hillary Clinton’s lead in delegates was trimmed by four (more on that in a minute).

The results were, obviously, not what the US press wanted to see. A little over a week ago The New York Times and The Washington Post endorsed Clinton, while the Daily News and Huffington Post called Trump a clown. Primary voters, to say the least, were not swayed. So much for the power of the press.

Press-frontsEven billionaire casino owner must be wondering what his $140 million has bought him. His paper, after all, endorsed Marco Rubio just after the Iowa caucuses, but the candidate’s meltdown in the last debate before yesterday’s primary appears to slowed down Rubio’s march to the White House.

In the Democratic race, the results only mean that the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton, will be wounded. As the NYT points out in its delegate counter, the party has already put its finger on the scales and awarded Clinton 362 so-called superdelegates, likely giving the former Secretary of State an insurmountable lead going into the convention, baring a collapse of support.

While in theory superdelegates can vote for whoever they want, but they are selected based on their preferences, meaning that anyone voting other than their declared preference risks ending their political careers. Only if another candidate comes out clearly ahead after the primaries, as happened in 2008, would many superdelegates switch their allegiance.

delegates-dens⇐ Democratic Party delegate count – The New York Times

And so the campaigns march on to Nevada and South Carolina. The Democrats hold a caucus on Saturday, Feb. 20, and on the same day the Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina. Three days later the Republicans hold their caucuses in Nevada, and the following Saturday the Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

The press hope that by then they have secured more control over the races. Or maybe the electorate has simply stopped listening to the media, certainly the press has lost touch with the voters.

By the way, I think The Donald has had just about enough of the Daily News’s clown covers. Honestly, I can’t blame him, they are juvenile. On the other hand, it is hard to blame the paper, either. They are trying to survive.

Both those thoughts were probably on the mind of Trump’s tweet on today’s front page:

Few political pundits have as consistent a record as Bill Kristol (snark alert). For ten years Kristol was a commentator for Fox News, but when his contract ended ABC rushed to sign him up.

Kristol was a strong supporter of Sarah Palin in 2008, and an advocate for the Iraq War. Never without unwavering opinions that prove to be, say we say, slightly off the mark, Kristol managed to look into his crystal ball last week and nail the Republican primary results in New Hampshire. Kind of.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the publisher of USA Today and regional newspaper, Gannett, is in talks with Amazon over possibly using its newspaper delivery carriers to deliver packages. It’s a long shot proposition.

The paper points out that Tribune Publishing had previously looked into the idea, but decided that it would not work as there would be serious tax consequences:

Depending on who owns the delivery fleet, either outside contractors or newspapers receive significant federal tax breaks related to paper deliveries. But those are contingent on a minimum of 90% of a carrier’s income coming from delivering papers. Deliver too many packages, and those tax breaks go away—something Tribune determined would be too big a loss to offset with the added package revenue.

There is no reason to not think that the same scenario would not apply to Gannett.

Gannett and Tribune Publishing have something else in common: both companies were once part of media companies that owned both broadcast and newspaper properties, with both spinning off those newspaper properties into a new company.

Since its spin off, Gannett’s stock has performed well, rising from a low value of below $11 last summer, to a high of $17.91 in December. Yesterday it closed at $14.82, reflecting the poor performance of the market so far this year.

Tribune Publishing, on the other hand, has seen its shares sink since going public: from over $24 to yesterday’s close of $6.18.

For new shareholder Michael Ferro, who just last week invested $44.4 million in Tribune Publishing, it means that investment is now worth $12.14 million less than it did at the time of the announcement. Or, conversely, if the investment has not been struck yet, it means that he is really investing $12 million less than originally announced.

Tribune is not alone in seeing its stock fall. McClatchy’s stock rose nearly 4 percent yesterday, but continues to trade under a dollar. Because it has risen over the dollar mark of late, it might not be in danger of being delisted, though they have been warned in the recent past.

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