Noboby’s Fool

So Ford announced about 11 minutes ago that it’s lowering its 2005 earnings estimate. The Friday afternoon bad news release is basically entrenched as a time-honored tradition in the media. The logic is that people don’t really read the papers on Saturday so the news is effectively buried.

Doesn’t this seem, um, kinda outmoded?

Blogs, RSS, Blackberries, Web phones, 24-hour news cycle, blah blah blah. Did the PR “pros” dumping bad news at a quarter to five on Friday not get the memo? Am I not going to hear about it through any of the six million ways I have to get information besides the Saturday newspaper? Is this an existential question? If I don’t hear about Ford’s lowered profit guidance, does that mean that it’s not a company struggling to find its way? Will they magically be transformed by my not reading the Saturday newspaper into a great, flourishing beacon of commerce on Monday morning?

Guess what? We’re paying attention all the time now, so get a clue. Bad news is better dealt with in an upfront manner, not in a “let’s gurgle it out at the end of a beautiful spring day and hope no one notices” sort of way. I’d think more of Ford if it wasn’t slinking off into the weekend. How about you?DL