After a week in which both The Boston Globe and The Washington Post were purchased by new owners, the publisher of The New York Times emphatically declared on Wednesday night that the publication was not for sale.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who is also chairman of The New York Times Company, said in a statement that he and vice chairman Michael Golden had spoken to Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Company, about his decision to sell The Post and some smaller newspapers and stressed that The Times did not plan to follow a similar path.
“Will our family seek to sell The Times? The answer to that is ‘no’. The Times is not for sale, and the trustees of the Ochs-Sulzberger Trust and the rest of the family are united in our commitment to work together with the company’s board, senior management and employees to lead The New York Times forward into our global and digital future,” the statement said.
Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Golden cited The Times’s success with its digital subscription model, its profitability and strong cash flow as reasons it was “perfectly able to fund our future growth. The Times has both the ideas and the money to pursue innovation.” Early Saturday, the Times Company announced its decision to sell the New England Media Group, which includes The Boston Globe, to John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, for $70 million.
On Monday, The Washington Post Company announced it would sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com’s founder, Jeffrey P. Bezos, for $250 million. The sale of The Post by the Graham family, which owned it for 80 years, leaves The Times as the nation’s last major newspaper run by a family. In an interview published last week in The Daily Beast, Mr. Sulzberger addressed rumors that a media mogul like Mayor Michael Bloomberg might purchase The Times at some point. “Imagine. People talk. What a shock,” Mr. Sulzberger is quoted as saying. “The Times,” he says, slapping his palm on the table, “is Not. For. Sale.” Wednesday’s statement was released shortly after Mr. Sulzberger held a closed-door meeting with family members.
In the statement, he and Mr. Golden cited plans by Mark Thompson, the company’s president and chief executive, to find profits by expanding “investment internationally, in video, in paid products and in brand extensions.” They also cited the editorial strengths of The Times’s executive editor, Jill Abramson, and the editorial page editor, Andy Rosenthal. “We’re incredibly proud of our association with this great institution and, on behalf of the trustees and the other members of our family, we plan for that association to continue for many years to come,” they said in the statement.
In an earnings statement released last Thursday, The Times reported that while it still faced a troubled print advertising market, it swung to a profit in its most recent quarter because of stronger circulation revenue and lower operating costs. The company reported that net income rose to $20.1 million, or 13 cents a share, in contrast to a loss of $87.6 million, or 58 cents a share, in the period a year earlier. The Times also noted in its release that its strategy to charge customers for accessing content online remained successful. In the second quarter, the number of paid subscribers to the Web site, e-reader and other digital editions of The Times and The International Herald Tribune grew to 699,000, a jump of more than 35 percent from the period a year earlier. On Wednesday, the company’s stock price closed down 6 cents, at $12.02. Source:New York Times