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


More in moneyNOW

Tags: Wealthy
495Comments
Jan 23, 2013 7:22PM
avatar
Wouldn't it be great to end, once and for all, the socialist propaganda.  Soon that crap paper will be gone because people are tired of reading the lies!
Jan 23, 2013 7:22PM
avatar

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!

Jan 23, 2013 7:22PM
avatar

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,

 

Jan 23, 2013 7:21PM
avatar
doda52, Better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are stupid than open it and remove all doubt. Do a little research. Donald Trump (I'm not a fan and personally think he is an egomaniac) has NEVER went bankrupt. The correct statement is businesses he owned have went through bankruptcy.
Jan 23, 2013 7:21PM
avatar

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.

Jan 23, 2013 7:21PM
avatar
Wouldn't the NY Post be more his style?
Jan 23, 2013 7:21PM
avatar
Like many very wealthy before him, they all have their own agenda and motive. Our history is full of the very wealthy buying political favor and pushing their brand of America on the rest. I'd be silly to place Trump in the same sentence as other wealthy moguls from our past, who used their wealth and power to move America. Trump has proven to be less than their peer and more of a loud mouth entertainer with money.
Jan 23, 2013 7:20PM
avatar
If they close republicans won't have anything to let their puppies pee on. Wait, there are new pictures of Hillary with glasses. 
Jan 23, 2013 7:19PM
avatar
No, it's called making a bad purchase.  Newspapers are on the decline, so 'The Donald' will probably face his 3rd bankruptcy proving once more that the public believes this terrible business man is for real regardless of his ego driven purchases.
Jan 23, 2013 7:19PM
avatar
It would be nice to have one media outlet in the country that was not jewish owned and controlled ,good luck with that Mr. Trump.
Jan 23, 2013 7:18PM
avatar
What he needs to buy is a gym membership...
Jan 23, 2013 7:18PM
avatar
I can't believe the gall that MSN has to make reference to any media outlet as "a corporate shill." MSN is the most liberal-biased media outlet on the planet!
Jan 23, 2013 7:17PM
avatar
Donald is once again creating rumors and speculation to keep his name in the news. Only he knows what his agenda is, I'm betting political. He has no intention to purchase the paper. He would have to fire every reporter and editor who spins the news he doesn't like, which would wipe out the majority of the paper's rainmakers. He will keep his name out there for the next two years and then start his campaign for the GOP nomination, you watch!
Jan 23, 2013 7:17PM
avatar
I guess he wants to file for bankruptcy once again.
Jan 23, 2013 7:17PM
avatar
The New York Times is just a socialist rag controlled by the Whitehouse & Democrats.  It spews progressive, socialist garbage.  The NYT would not know the truth if it was staring them in the face.     
Jan 23, 2013 7:17PM
avatar
He should go after Pravda or Izvestia.  They pander more to what Trump considers "truth".
Jan 23, 2013 7:15PM
avatar
And that would be the end of the NYT as we know it. And changing the subject slightly, since he's seen fit to make fun of everyone's looks from Rosie O'Donnell to Chuck Todd, can someone tell me if they, too, think Mr. Trump looks like he's grinding his teeth -- all the time!! Looks are not the making of anyone, but if that's what someone wants to deliberate, then they need to expect being the target from time to time. He looks like he's grinding his teeth in pent up anger in most every picture of him. But the upside to that is, it gives us something to look at other than what's on top of his head. And please, please, oh gods of literacy, don't let this man stake his claim on one of the best papers of all times. Now that would be sad.
Jan 23, 2013 7:14PM
avatar
go for it don it's a big efin deal. just what uncle joe would say!
Jan 23, 2013 7:13PM
avatar
The Times is entitled to it's editorial view, but to deny that it has an editorial view is absolutely naive...given the choice of trump or al jeezera, i'd have to go with trump..
Jan 23, 2013 7:13PM
avatar
He wants to buy a dead media that's not for sale? What am I missing?
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More

MSN MONEY'S