Man Bites Dog! Who’ll win the media war?

“Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel” is one of my favourite aphorisms — and one I was reminded of by Lakehouse Capital Chief Investment Officer Joe Magyer only the other day.

But when you’re arguing about someone who does, what’s the protocol?

If there’s a hotter hotbed of takeover rumour and speculation (and a little fact) than the media sector at the moment, I don’t know it.

Will Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) survive? Will Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX:NEC) merge with Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) before the latter is taken private? And what does that mean for Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:SVW) and News Corp (ASX:NWS).

There may yet be more (these days largely virtual) ink spilled before the dust settles… and I’m not rushing in.

There are times to be bold, and times when sitting back and watching makes sense — especially with the New York Times opening an Australian bureau, The Guardian wanting more eyeballs, Netflix fighting for the entertainment dollar and the 400lb Gorilla in Google’s YouTube all to contend with.

Sometimes the best action is not taking action at all. Or finding a better place for your money, like some well-vetted blue chips that should be lower risk than this lot.

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Based on the last 12-months of dividends, its shares are currently offering a fully-franked 4.8% yield, which grosses up to almost 7% when those franking credits are included. And in stark contrast to the likes of Commonwealth Bank and Telstra, this company just increased its dividend by over 13%, and guided for 2017 profits to grow by 20%!

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Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips (TMFGilla) has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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