From Power Line, we have the NYT reduced to junk bond status with its latest infusion of cash from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu; six-year notes at 14 percent interest. This gives Mr. Slim control of another 18 percent of the company in addition to the 6.9 percent he already controls. I suspect, if things continue to go south, Slim will be in a position to demand voting shares in the company, now controlled by the Sulzberger family.
And, it would be fitting to see those voting shares finally released outside the Sulzberger family because they simply have been atrocious stewards of New York Times Corp.
Last summer, The Atlantic had an article about Murdock’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal. The article describes Murdock, the then new owner, making an appearance to the employees of the Wall Street Journal in their newsroom and exhorting them to “get the scoop.”
Get the scoop. Get the news. Get information that people will want to buy. Note this has nothing to do with ordination into the Holy Order of Journalism. You know, the degree you get by going to college for four years to learn to write fast. You should be going to school to learn history, economic and the whole pantheon of what is Western Civilization. Instead we have trade schools all dolled up as schools of “Journalism.” Nor, does this exhortation have anything to do with getting the “narrative” or getting the interpretation. People aren’t stupid; they are quite capable of receiving information and drawing their own conclusions. To such people, propaganda is a blatant insult to their intelligence. You don’t exactly make a profit by insulting your customer’s intelligence.
The fundamental business paradigm the Sulzbergers are missing is that people will pay good money for news; the scoop, information. The NYT dished out liberal propaganda posing as news. And, readership plummeted because propaganda is to be given out for free. The day the NYT starts selling information is the day its balance sheet will start to loft upwards like warming currents of carbon dioxide.
Finally, remember the big controversy over the purchase of domestic port facilities by Dubai? Yet, here is the newspaper of “record” willingly handing control of itself to a foreign source?