If you are already the CEO of the largest consumer magazine or newspaper publisher in, say, Holland, what do you do for your next act? Local antitrust laws probably prohibit further consolidation at home. You have no expertise for operating such businesses in other markets and history has shown that buying such businesses in other markets—particularly in the giant U.S. market—is either prohibitively expensive, likely to end badly, or both. You could simply focus on operating these businesses well, growing them64f157e7B002N83GWQ Your highlight at location 469 organically, and returning the extra cash to shareholders. But what fun is that? Owning a Dutch weekly women’s magazine like Margriet or Vrouw Vandaag is unlikely to get you a good table at Michael’s or frankly even give you a good excuse for a trip to New York. On the other hand, becoming one of the world’s leading scientific or financial publishers could do both. There never seems to be a shortage of individuals and institutions happy to take a lower return than would otherwise be appropriate to the level of risk for the opportunity to attend a movie premiere or party backstage with the band.64f157e7B002N83GWQ None of the substantive arguments proffered against the proposition that local media is better media has, well, much substance. It may be that these oft-heard propositions justifying a misguided march toward national or global domination are mere pretexts for the real driver of mogul behavior. Global businesses may not generate superior returns but do generate higher salaries, higher profiles, better seating, and better parties. Who wouldn’t rather be an international man of mystery than, say, the king of southeastern movie theaters?64f157e7B002N83GWQ Moguls seem to long for anything to divert their attention from the crucial business of just running their companies efficiently

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