Thursday, April 26, 2007

NY Times Shareholders to Mgmt: "Can You Hear Us Now?"

In a stunning rebuke to management, the public shareholders of the New York Times voted with their feet, withholding a stunning 54% of their votes for Directors of the company. Directors feeling the sting of a very public whipping included a subset of the financial A-list: James Kilts, former Chairman of Gillette and William Kennard, former Chairman of the FCC appointed by Bill Clinton.

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., denied shareholder demands that the Times give up its unusual dual-class voting arrangement which the Sulzberger family uses to protect and control its satrapy. Earnings and circulation at the Times have been declining and the paper has suffered a number of blows to its reputation for credible reporting.

Mr. Sulzberger volunteered that he won't be changing voting arrangements. He also confirmed that he will not resign as chairman or publisher, adding that they allowed him to "balance the financial and journalistic needs" of the paper.

Well, he is doing a superb job of "balancing," as both the financial and journalistic results are equally in the tank.

Readers, who are abandoning the old gray lady in flocks can only hope to join their voices to those of the shareholders, "Can you hear us now?"

H/T to Sara Ellison at The Wall Street Journal, paper version, "New York Times Holder Protest Grows."

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