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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Tags: Wealthy
495Comments
Jan 23, 2013 7:04PM
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Bad idea, now he wants to control the press in New York.
Jan 23, 2013 7:04PM
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Will he ever go away.  People are so sick of him and if the media will quit giving him any view then just then he will fly away.  The more they give him a public view he will just keep on running off with his  tiny Beatty mouth and his squinty eyes .  He just wants to be seen do not give him the time of day or the air he takes away from all the kids and humans in this world.  He might just blow away in his own hot air.   Send him to IRAN , PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Jan 23, 2013 7:04PM
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GO gettem Donald, a true AMERICAN,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 23, 2013 7:03PM
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Donal Trump will bankrup that too. Anything he touches turns to crap.

How many times did he file for bankrupcy ?

Jan 23, 2013 7:03PM
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Needs to buy a new squirrel for the top of his head.......!
Jan 23, 2013 7:01PM
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Best news I have heard in a long time. Make an honest newspaper out of it
Jan 23, 2013 7:00PM
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The NY Times lost all credibility during the Iraq war. Some say it's a liberal rag. Not really. It's just a sad shell of a once great group of journalists that actually helped protect our freedoms, as the 4th estate of our Republic is supposed to do.

They've had terrible right-wing staff like Peggy Noonan, for example. She's a complete idiot.

If Trump buys it, he'll just add to the existing cartoon that is the NY Times.

Jan 23, 2013 7:00PM
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Don't let that guy have a paper.
It's like giving a kid a whistle.

Jan 23, 2013 7:00PM
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Another Rupert Murdoch. I wonder who's phone he will tap first?

Jan 23, 2013 7:00PM
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You are welcome Donald.
bobbyg6909 @ IBD
Jan 23, 2013 7:00PM
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First Head Line reads, Donald buy's rug for head!
Jan 23, 2013 6:59PM
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Absolutely NO NO NO ! if any one in the universe would like to control the information that citizens get without having a  defective analysis of the facts and truth, It is DONALD TRUMP
Jan 23, 2013 6:59PM
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Do not - I repeat - Do not let Donald Trump anywhere near the New York Times. 
Jan 23, 2013 6:58PM
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i really dont like rich 1 percenters. when is enough enough you greedy bastards?

Jan 23, 2013 6:45PM
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If Mr. Trump elects to purchase the NY Times, commits his time and resources, there is nothing he can’t do."
 That is the most stupid statement I've ever heard.  Sounds to me like Mr. Trump has already bought Michael Cohen.  The statement "there is nothing He can't do" only appies to ONE and that one is GOD.  Now, Michael and Mr. Trump, I'm not weathy and I hardly have a dollar to my name.  But, I have something NEITER or you can buy!!!  Integrity!! I was once told by a woman she "could get into ANY man's pants!"  Had she not said "any," I would have agreed with her.  But, when she said "any" I replied to her with "you can't get into this man's pants."  That has been years ago and that discussion never came up again.  There are things Donald Trump's money cannot buy.
Jan 23, 2013 6:35PM
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Hey Donald - just go away. You're nothing more than a certain part of the male anatomy. 

Jan 23, 2013 6:01PM
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Oh, please, god, spare us this!  Cannot imagine the harm his mouth could do if it actually had a platform that in any way gave him credibility. 
Jan 23, 2013 6:01PM
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HE JUST WANTS TO FILE BANKRUPT  A 3rd TIME!!! 
Jan 23, 2013 5:37PM
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A few should probably go back and check out the stupid azz's history, instead of what you think he portrays on TV and or what the dumb Media let's him say in front of cameras..

 

Most people in the REAL world don't pay much attention to what a buffoon says.....

NO MATTER HOW RICH he is, OR THINKS he is.. 

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