My first job in New York City was as 'Content Editor' at PC Magazine in 1997. That meant I hand-coded all their articles, sometimes up to 200/day. The idea of a dynamic, database-driven site was still new and there were no good solutions at the time. The best was to use Microsoft Word's mail-merge function, placing all the content in an Excel file and opening the HTML template in Word, then merging them together to generate the static pages.
When I was there, Bill Ziff still owned Ziff-Davis and ran the show. It was a privately-held company in a boom time and things were good. Once each year the entire staff (150 or so people) would be sent to a tropical island (a different one each year) for an "editorial retreat". When I was there we went to Barbados. It was awesome.
Then, Mr. Ziff, being older and in not-so-good health, sold the business to an investment company who took it public. The IPO was a big deal but everything pretty much turned to crap after that (and certainly no more tropical retreats). I quit after that.
I don't think it's a good idea for media companies to be publicly-held. Print publications in particular rely on the staff's intellect and creativity and loyalty to the brand - it's much more like actors in a play than factory workers on an assembly line. But public companies seem to always treat staff more like machines than their private counterparts.
The best news sources I can think of are the New York Times and National Public Radio. If either of those became public companies their quality would suffer.