What About the Times? The chill Rupert Murdoch sends through downtown New York is now blowing north toward the midtown HQ of the New York Times. The Times, too, has a two-tier shareholder system, with family controlling the company. But if Murdoch's super-sized offer could topple one two-tier system so unexpectedly, could it happen with the Sulzbergers and the Times?
That question has been on the lips of many watching the Dow Jones/News Corp saga, including New York Times reporters. Like all working journalists in the trade, they know the ground is shaking underneath the entire industry. What once seemed unshakable -- the Times itself -- now seems vulnerable, like so much of what we all have taken for granted.
So especially interesting is NYT Public Editor's Clark Hoyt's Sunday piece raising that question publicly and urging the Times to tell its own story. How does the Sulzberger family trust work? What are the Sulzbergers thinking? What's their plan to deal with continuing downturn of the industry?
It's time to ask the questions, get some insight and start a public discussion now, before the next trophy hunter pops up, unexpectedly.
What Bruce Sherman Hath Wrought: Remember Bruce, whose PCM bought big into newspaper stocks and then embarked on a path to maximize value. He started with Knight Ridder. Unfortunately, when he huffed and puffed, Knight Ridder folded like a house of cards -- and PCM exited without a payoff.
Alan Mutter reports on how PCM has exited much of its newspaper holdings, and quoting Deutsche Bank's Paul Ginocchio to the effect that PCM's stock dumping is a reason that newspaper prices are in the dumper. How much in the dumper? They've lost $15 billion in market value since 2004.
I'm less convinced by that argument than I'd like to be. It seems to me that the three-to-five future we can see for print advertising is by far the largest driver of the share decline.
Still, the story of PCM and its outsized impact on the trade is astounding.Par Excellence: Can't get enough of the Par Ridder saga? Try this spot-on parody Par blog.