The Post’s Kaplan Pipeline Is Drying Up, But Its Internet Doodads Are Still AAA-Rated
The Washington Post Co.'s gentle-but-persistent downward slope got a little steeper last Friday, when Moody's downgraded the company and set its outlook at "negative." That's not too surprising, given the company's mostly dismal second-quarter SEC filing, but the real bad news is that it has nothing to do with the flailing Post.
Instead, Moody's reviewed the Post Co.'s rating because of earnings problems at Kaplan—the for-profit education division that cushions so much of the Post's troubles.
But the Post isn't just waiting around for the for-profit bubble to burst. Since the end of July, they've thrown all sorts of things at the Internet to see what sticks, including:
- An expanded Mention Machine, which scrapes Twitter for mentions of Nasdaq companies.
- An updated iPhone app.
- A D.C. travel iPhone app.
- A set of online crosswords and other Flash games.
- A slightly snazzier commenting platform called Crowd Sourced, which asks readers questions like "How should Obama and Romney be using social media?"
Crowd Sourced is especially important because, so far, it's been sponsored by big-dollar ad buyers like SAP and GE. Can multinationals and game-addicted teens replace Kaplan's lower-middle-class strivers as the coal that fires the Post? We shall see!