New York Times is ‘not for sale’

April 23rd, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 23 (IANS) New York Times Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has refuted reports that the company that publishes perhaps the world’s most famous daily might be up for sale. Even as the company owning The New York Times struggles financially, Newsweek magazine reported in the latest issue that top associates of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been encouraging him to consider making a bid for the Times, but the owner of a business news service and TV network himself Monday denied any plans to get into the newspaper business.

Sulzberger assured shareholders at the Times’ annual meeting Tuesday that the company controlled by his family “is not for sale”. Recent media reports suggesting otherwise were ill-informed, he added.

The company, which also owns the Boston Globe and the International Herald Tribune, reported last week financial results well below analysts’ estimates for the first quarter, as advertising revenue fell 9.2 percent. Shares were trading recently around $20 compared to a high of $40 in the early 2004.

The bond ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service has lowered the Times’ debt by two levels, to one grade above “junk” status, citing “ongoing deterioration” in advertising revenue.

The media in the US was also abuzz with the news that Rupert Murdoch might buy Newsday tabloid of Long Island, New York, for $580 million from the cash-strapped Tribune Co. He also sacked the managing editor, Marcus Brauchli, of The Wall Street Journal, as part of a process to speed up his new acquistion’s transformation into a more general interest paper which could compete with The New York Times.

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