Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

What a concept!

Posted by Ron Coleman on January 22, 2008


In the last five years, the New York Times has declined in value by an astonishing 70 percent. There is no indication that things will get better any time soon. Indeed, as the specter of recession looms, there is every reason to believe that things will get worse. At some point here in the near future, the market capitalization of the New York Times will fall below $2 billion. At that point, a psychological floor will have collapsed and the company will be in play.

The company that has the most to gain from buying the New York Times is Google. If it proffered a Murdoch-like, no-auction bid of $4 billion, wouldn’t the Sulzberger family have to accept it? Every single class B shareholder would accept the offer. It’s their only exit. It is also likely that Times employees and retirees would enthusiastically support the deal; it’s their only exit as well. So it would all come down to whether the Sulzberger family (smaller in number and not as far-flung as the fractious Bancroft clan that owned Dow Jones) would accept the deal.

The choice for the family would be basically this: double your money or double down on “young Arthur,” as the NYT’s Chairman and CEO is sometimes called.

Yeah, what a choice. What a concept! The article explains that it’s really all about Rupert Murdoch. Fascinating.

The only question is, would such a move be final confirmation that Google has jumped the shark? Or could it just absorb something like this — and be a real estate player in Manhattan fast?!

UPDATE:  Ooh!  Ooh! 


3 Responses to “What a concept!”

  1. craig mclaughlin said

    P. G. Wodehouse often featured as a storyline the down-at-heels English lord trying to unload stately old old fill in the blank manor on the rich American naif. Often the intervention of Jeeves was required.

    How is this different? Why would an investor offer twice the market price for a brand that has recently lost 70% of its value.

    What would you be buying?

    Maybe we should ask Jeeves.

    And oh, I hate rats.

  2. Well, the article discusses what Google would get, and why it would be cost effective for Google to get it, Craig.

  3. craig mclaughlin said

    What? Hit a link and read an article, the hell you say.

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