Donald Trump wants The New York Times

Can the billionaire buy his way into ownership of the respected newspaper company?

By Jonathan Berr Jan 23, 2013 4:11PM
Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images
Caption: Donald Trump leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on October 25, 2012Billionaire Donald Trump wants it known that he really, really wants to buy The New York Times (NYT) even though the paper is not for sale -- and even if it were, the Sulzberger family, which has owned it for more than a century, probably would never sell it to him in a billion years.
"I have watched Mr. Trump over the years navigate much tougher acquisitions," writes Michael Cohen, a Trump spokesman. "Mr. Trump is so smart and so rich that if he wants it, he will get it. If Mr. Trump elects to purchase the NY Times, commits his time and resources, there is nothing he can’t do."

Shares of the company, which also owns the Boston Globe, were barely budging on the news, indicating that Wall Street isn't holding its breath for a deal to happen. A spokesperson for the Times couldn't immediately be reached.

It's unclear exactly how much progress, if any, Trump has made in buying the newspaper company. New York magazine, which broke the story, says "Trump has engaged in more than one meeting to discuss how he might buy the Grey Lady." If Trump does make a credible offer for the paper, the company's board of directors would have a fiduciary duty to consider it.

Trump has had a contentious relationship with the company's flagship newspaper for years. In 2011, he lost a libel case against Tim O'Brien, a former reporter and editor for the paper, who argued in a book that the 56-year-old wasn't really a billionaire. O'Brien, now with The Huffington Post, couldn't immediately be reached. Many at the paper, including columnist Gail Collins, have mocked Trump's claims that President Obama may not have been born in the United States.

If Trump is successful -- and that's a big if -- he would have a tough time convincing employees and advertisers that he wouldn't use the paper to promote his own political agenda. In fact, some newspapers around the country have been snapped up by wealthy business owners with their own motives. Real-estate developer Doug Manchester, for example, bought the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2011 and turned the paper into what Media Matters for America calls "a corporate shill."

Trump's interest comes at a tough moment for The New York Times, which has recently offered buyouts to newsroom staff to cut costs as it struggles to reinvent itself in the digital age. The deadline for accepting these offers is Thursday, according to the paper. Wall Street isn't expecting the struggles to end anytime soon. Revenue in the December quarter is expected to fall 11%, according to analysts' estimates. Profit is expected to be 31 cents, down from 45 cents a year earlier. 

Wall Street sees better times ahead for the venerable publisher, whose digital strategy has gained traction. The average 52-week price target on the stock is $9.58. about 10% higher than where it currently trades. Shares of the publisher have surged more than 13% over the past year.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks.  Follow him on Twitter @jdberr


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495Comments
Jan 23, 2013 10:01PM
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President Obama wasn't born in the US lol he was born in Jordan which is in Africa.  That Hawaii birth he has and presents is a fake.  Funny how our own country breaks it's own rules and elects an illegal president not once but twice lol.

Another idiot who flunked geography class.
Jan 23, 2013 9:56PM
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Lyrics often tell us something about ourselves. The 'epic' song - "Everybody's is somebody's fool" is no different. Chances are - 'mirrors' stand at stiff attention in awe of "The Donald" - wherever hot air takes him.
Jan 23, 2013 9:54PM
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Trump's performance in Scotland while building his great golf course showed just what a low-life he really is....so smart and so rich, but what a shame to America.

My apology to Scotland for Trump's performance, I'm sure he never bothered to apologize or ever will.

Jan 23, 2013 9:53PM
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Think Mr. Trump should get out of the tanning both and go out in the sun and fresh air.  Newspapers will not be the  future in communication.  A so called smart fellow should know that.  Maybe Mr. Trump is not so smart.  Kind of looks that way. 
 
Jan 23, 2013 9:53PM
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Yeah it's all about the next Presidential campaign ,and Don will spend everything to keep the Dems out and then file bankruptcy later.  
Jan 23, 2013 9:52PM
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Ask trump to pay cash or check his credit. If trump has so much money then why did he lose the Tashmahal  Casino. Trump is a POSER...................................
Jan 23, 2013 9:51PM
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That man is a pathetic classless loser.
Jan 23, 2013 9:50PM
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One good thing about Mr. Trump...He's all for bringing our troops home from all over the world. And when you think of it, why are we still in Europe, Japan, Korea, etc., etc.? It's really quite insane.

 

Not only that, we can't even take care of our own people. Why are we doling out hundreds of billions to other countries???

 

And as for our Offense Department in Washington, why are we building these huge, multi-billion dollar aircraft carriers and bombers? We don't need the things anymore. We need more drones for surgical strikes against terrorists...our main enemy today.

 

I get so fed up at times I wanna puke. Have at least 10 percent of my assets in gold and silver when hyper inflation kicks in. Don't trust the gov't as far as I can j*** off.

Jan 23, 2013 9:50PM
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Hmmm... Ole Donald must not be getting enuff publicity these days. @@! I am happy to hear the owners won't sell to him in a baziliion years... warms my heart. ha ha.
Jan 23, 2013 9:48PM
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Trump, his TV show, as well as his fortune is a disgrace not only to NYC but to the whole country. He is even more plastic than any of his wives, daughters and his circle.
Repulsive to watch-sorry Mr. Trump!
The least i want to see is you owning a newspaper, specially NY Times-Not even "Atalaya"
Jan 23, 2013 9:47PM
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Trump....  Bah..  Take away his money and let him just go away.  His comments and threats about the President elect and the election should put him on the Secret Sevice watch list as a threat to the United States.   Donald, Don`t go away mad...   Just go away.......
Jan 23, 2013 9:46PM
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If he is successful , I will become a life long subscriber. Of coarse he would loose many subscribers because a small taste of the truth in that city would choke half of them to death.
Jan 23, 2013 9:44PM
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tell him to want in one hand and sh*t in the other...
Jan 23, 2013 9:44PM
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President Obama wasn't born in the US lol he was born in Jordan which is in Africa.  That Hawaii birth he has and presents is a fake.  Funny how our own country breaks it's own rules and elects an illegal president not once but twice lol.
Jan 23, 2013 9:41PM
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He will turn it into another propaganda network like Fox News. He can't stand it that theNew York Times has earned some credibility by engaging in truthful reporting.
Jan 23, 2013 9:41PM
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"If Trump is successful -- and that's a big if -- he would have a tough time convincing employees and advertisers that he wouldn't use the paper to promote his own political agenda."

 

Sure, but when a liberal controls media, then it MUST be serious journalism... Revenue and profits are down because news consumers know this is already true.

 

Jan 23, 2013 9:39PM
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Newspapers and Magazines are on the way out.  NYT wouldn't be a good investment opportunity.  Probably,  just a publicity stunt on Trumps part.  Get the liberals worked up.
Jan 23, 2013 9:37PM
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Amazing that Trump manages to get through life without a single clue of how people see him. The women he screws and the people to bow to him do it only for his money, not his integrity or (lack of) class. I say we ship him off on the first manned mission to Mars and be done with him.

Jan 23, 2013 9:36PM
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I HATE this STUPID POMPOUS **** !!!
If he does I will cancel my subscription. I don't wan to even waste my time reading this article.
Jan 23, 2013 9:36PM
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WHY CAN'T THIS SCHMUCK JUST GO THE F! AWAY. HE IS LIKE OLD FAITHFUL. POPPING UP IN THE NEWS LIKE CLOCKWORK, AS A HOT STEAMY MESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS GUY IS A JOKE! ON PAR WITH LINDSAY LOHAN, MEL GIBSON AND THE LIKE. DAILY NEWS FODDER LIKE THE DISGUSTING FILLER USED IN HOTDOGS. 

Sorry didn't mean to yell. I have just had it up to here with these scum types.
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