New York Times not for sale, says pub­lisher

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGEN­CIES

The New York Times is not for sale, the news­pa­per re­ported its con­trol­ling fam­ily and pub­lisher as say­ing, af­ter a week in which The Bos­ton Globe and The Wash­ing­ton Post were bought by new own­ers.

“Will our fam­ily seek to sell The Times? The an­swer to that is no,” the pub­lisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, who is also chair­man of the New York Times Co, said in a state­ment re­ported on the pa­per’s web­site.

Sulzberger said he and vice- chair­man Michael Golden had spo­ken to Don­ald Gra­ham, chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Wash­ing­ton Post Co, about his de­ci­sion to sell the Post and some smaller news­pa­pers and stressed that The New York Times did not plan to fol­low a sim­i­lar path.

Sulzberger also said the trus­tees of the Ochs-Sulzberger Trust and the rest of the fam­ily were “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”.

US news­pa­pers are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to deep­pock­eted white knights to keep them alive as free news on the In­ter­net hi­jacks read­ers and erodes prof­its.

Ama­zon. com founder Jeff Be­zos agreed to buy The Wash­ing­ton Post for $250 mil­lion in a sur­prise deal that ends the Gra­ham fam­ily’s 80 years of own­er­ship.

The New York Times is sell­ing The Bos­ton Globe to the prin­ci­pal owner of the Bos­ton Red Sox base­ball team for $70 mil­lion, a small frac­tion of what the Times paid for the pa­per 20 years ago.

And over the past two years, star in­vestor War­ren Buf­fett has snapped up more than 24 news­pa­pers through his Berk­shire Hath­away com­pany for about $ 350 mil­lion.

More deals are likely. In July, the Tri­bune Com­pany hived off its money-los­ing news­pa­pers — in­clud­ing the Los An­ge­les Times, the Chicago Tri­bune and The Bal­ti­more Sun — into a sep­a­rate com­pany, keep­ing its fo­cus on its prof­itable tele­vi­sion sta­tions.

An­a­lysts think this opens the door for an­other gen­er­ous buyer to plunge into the news­pa­per in­dus­try.

The sale of The Wash­ing­ton Post, whose pow­er­ful Water­gate re­port­ing brought down pres­i­dent Richard Nixon in 1974, shocked the in­dus­try.

But no one was sur­prised by the rea­son.

The Gra­ham fam­ily, which has con­trolled the US cap­i­tal’s news­pa­per of record for eight decades, ad­mit­ted it had no an­swers on how to make money, af­ter read­er­ship con­tin­ued to plum­met and losses con­tin­ued to mount at the pa­per dur­ing the first half of the year.

Like the Post, the Globe had been los­ing print sub­scribers and has been chal­lenged to per­suade con­sumers to pay to read it on­line.

“The ac­cel­er­at­ing print ad de­cline, cou­pled with tepid dig­i­tal ad rev­enue growth, casts a dark cloud over the next sev­eral years,” said Ken Doc­tor of the Nie­man Jour­nal­ism Lab.

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