In a surprise development late today
Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, the former self-styled paper of record, announced the purchase of The Penny Bank in order that the paper might become a bank holding company and qualify for federal bailout funds under TARP. The paper has not yet reported the story, while it attempts to develop anonymous sources.
For a stranger on the phone, however, Mr. Sulzberger took a breaking from popping corks.
"Obviously, it's time we tried something 'out of the box,'" he said.Treasury officials and representatives of the Obama transition team cautioned that no other newspapers would be considered for similar treatment, although the Obama representatives left room for the possibility of help for NBC and Newsweek, if necessary.
"Sales are down. Advertising revenues are falling like a rock.
"We've failed miserably as a paper but The Times is too big and too important to the national psyche for it to be allowed to fail. We've worked day and night with our friends at Goldman and the Treasury and got our application in under the wire. We had a penny to spare. That was enough to get us into the game. The rest, as they say, will be history.
"We're delighted with the $7.5 billion that the taxpayers of this great nation have offered us. It will go a long way towards maintaining
my familythe company as we pursue perfection in bank publishing under the careful eye of the FDIC and the new president we've supported so enthusiastically."
An Obama spokesperson, who insisted on remaining anonymous in case He changes His mind, said
We think there's room for at least one newspaper, one magazine and one television news source in this country. We're big supporters of competition and look forward to working with these three terrific media companies in the future.At the moment this story is satirical but there's no way to know for certain how long it will remain fiction.
RELATED LINK: Sulzberger: "Look Ma, I Shrunk The Times!"
Say, buddy, can you spare a penny?