Donald Trump wants The New York Times
Can the billionaire buy his way into ownership of the respected newspaper company?
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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DON'T LET HIM BUY ANY PRESS, RADIO, OR TV STATION, BECAUSE YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE TO LISTEN TO ONE SIDED NEWS AND NOT THE TRUTH OR WHATS REALLY HAPPENING IN THE WORLD. ALL HE WOULD DO IS BLAST THE PRESIDENT ALL DAY LONG CAUSE HE'S NOT GETTING A BETTER MILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK. PEOPLE WHO OWN THE PRESS CONTROL THE PRESS AND LET OUT HALF TRUTHS. DIDN"T ANYONE NOTICE THAT WHEN THEY PRINT GAS IS GOING UP IT GOES UP?! WHO TOLD THEM GAS WAS GOING UP?! THEY GUY WHO WANT TO RAISE GAS PRICE TO MAKE MORE MONEY!! IT IS ALMOST NEVER BECAUSE WE CAN'T GET GAS! CAUSE WE GOT ALOT OF IT AND ALOT OF COUNTRIES WHO HAVE IT!
Why does the public continue to feed this brats' ego? He says the most ignorant things and makes a mockery of the democratic system yet he still gets air time and press time. Let him slither back under the rock he came from. He is a clown. I want to take this moment to apologize to all clowns,
We've already seen the demise of the Wall Street Journal, which used to be a good source of news, even if the editorial page was slanted to the right. Now it's just another News Corp rag.
If the NY Times were to be taken over by Trump that would leave NYC without a decent paper, after Trump has his way with it.
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