With The New York Times Co.’s profits and share price dropping like a lead balloon, the Ochs-Sulzberger family, which has run the paper for a century, may have to unload its stake, according to the New York Post.
The Post’s unsourced story says the company may have to abandon its control to escape a large debt burden. The company’s in hock for $1.3 billion.
In addition, some family members may want to cash out to recover from the financial free-fall they’ve recently suffered.
The Post says the family’s net worth reached a peak of $425 million. That probably was in 2002, when the company’s share price hit a record of $51.50.
It has since dropped 87 percent.
Already the family is losing some control to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who loaned the company $250 million earlier this year.
Slim is now the company’s second-largest shareholder and will likely become the largest, as the loan terms call for him to be paid back with common shares.
The Times suffers from the same woes as other papers: a migration of advertisers and readers to the Internet.
The solution: “I call on all you publishers to … charge for Internet access to your newspaper content,” newspaper analyst John Morton writes in the American Journalism Review.
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