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 8:16PM
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Mr. Trump has been corrupted by his wealth and power. Big-headed people like himself should be firmly reminded they're not gods, and nobody should suck up to them.
Jan 23, 2013 8:15PM
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I'm trying to be gentle but let me be succinct.Trump is too bigoted and clueless for such authority. I don't take pleasure in saying this. It just is what it is. Some people shouldn't be anywhere near the newspapers and media.

As it is, we need consequences for lying to the public. I'm tired of the circus. Especially at election time.

Trump is a buffoon who is making a power move. He has ulterior motives. You can't buy everything and The New York Times shouldn't be maligned by this man.
Jan 23, 2013 8:14PM
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Trump now says Hilary was born in Norway...moron
Jan 23, 2013 8:14PM
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A newspaper with articles on the earth is flat, Moses spotted at WalMart.  Jesus loves Vegas but hates poor people.

 

It would just become the Daily Mirror.  Another Rupus scandal sheet with zero base in fact

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The New York Times would most likely die a slow and ignoble death with Trump at the helm.  If the newspaper really wants to get out of the red, it should offer e-subscriptions at a flat $6 per year.  That discount rate would make it affordable and competitive to many millions of readers who now only browse its front page then migrate to any number of free competing e-zines for the inside stories.
Jan 23, 2013 8:12PM
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If he succeeds say good bye to the NYTimes

 and hello to BIRTHER TIMES.

He'll ake a reputabal paper and turn it into the Joke that he, HIMSELF, IS!

Jan 23, 2013 8:11PM
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The New York Times will become The Birther Times.  Is Fox News next on the radar?
Jan 23, 2013 8:11PM
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When is this old f*ck gonna have a heart attack and die?
Jan 23, 2013 8:11PM
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I'm sick and tired of these "Conservatives" (who are anything but) who are so GD fascist that the must buy up literally every signle inch of our airwaves just to gain TOTAL control of our doctrinal system. They are after our schools, media, etc, because God forbid for one second someone has differing ideas from the corporate status quo. Which really just goes to show how how afraid of the public they really are, if they have to control every sigle inch of our media. Go to hell, Trump. Wealth does not mean authority. Just what your'e afraid of.
Jan 23, 2013 8:11PM
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Trump is a major blowhole. There's no better way to say it. 

He bloviates about this; he blows off steam about that. NONE of it should EVER be taken seriously.
Jan 23, 2013 8:08PM
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Hope the NY Times is not for sale.
Jan 23, 2013 8:08PM
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The NYT hasn't been a "respected" news source for years. The book and entertainment reviews are still well done, but that's about it. They lack balance and any perspective outside the NYC area. Too bad for them.
Jan 23, 2013 8:08PM
Jan 23, 2013 8:07PM
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The New York Times is already right wing enough. Must we really see wack added to it? How many "news" outlets do the rightside of assinine need to dominate before they convince more of their low-information voters to elect them back into the White House?

 

Rightwing media already controls 93% of the airwaves! Must we allow Trump to taint our nation with even more? Aren't the rural parts of our nation already saturated with Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and the rest of the rightie hate-merchants, who would rather see this nation become a Banana Republic than to ever work together with Liberals to make this nation what it used to be, before Reagan found out that talk of war could gain him more votes in elections?

 

Isn't war what Rush, and Michael , and Glenn Beck propose we do now, with the assault weapons? Hide in our basements with our bibles! Open fire on each other? Open fire on Iran! Hell, the fear they push almost got them a Romney, who prefers Chinese labor over our own American labor elected?  Due to rural and red state radio and FOX Entertainment News, they seek to brain-wash the poorest states, with the lowest educational standards to blame it on public schools, while Romney invests 60 million dollars into for-profit Charter Schools, that have proven to have worse educational results, with fewer teachers, and more profits taken out of the school systems, for the sake of his family?

 

How much more Tea Party does this nation deserve, for the sake of the Waltons, who control 42% of our national wealth?

 

Isn't it time to wonder why Republicans swear fealty to Grover Norquist, bow to Rush Limbaugh, and pass policies pushed by oil and mining mogul Koch Brothers, AT&T Alec Corporations, and Sheldon Adelson, who was hoping he could stop the investigations into his bribing of foreign officials, in order to get his casinos built in China? And wasn't Romney standing next to him, jumping at the chance to get in on the ground floor of wrecking the American economy by building 14 cent an hour manufacturing plants in mainland China, and then sending our manufacturing plants over there for them to use?

 

These are the folks the Republicans salute, when they can't make enough in wages, and have to get federal and state healthcare, because the companies refuse to work them full-time, thereby not having to provide health coverage? Look at Wal-Mart! Look at Romney's Staples, who just put out the ad proclaiming they are going to hire 45,000 seasonal workers. It sounds good, but why not work the ones full-time, already on the payroll? Every time I enter the local Romney BestBuy, there are always new workers, never there long enough to gain benefits, just seasonal ones, who never qualify for benefits......

 

Now, Trump wants to take the New York Times and have it proclaim Obama is a Kenyan from outer space, too?

 

Idiots! The New York Times will just become another Fox Tabloid with the Trump in charge....Aliens, popping out of every corner of our natuion! Grab yhour assault weapons, boys! We have aliens to hunt now. Just what this nation needs......NOT! 

Jan 23, 2013 8:05PM
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Donald Trump on has a hold on himself . Move beyond the Donald before you claim anything
Jan 23, 2013 8:04PM
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Oh Mt Billioniare...Mr Trump...You are sailing in the same Boat as the others?????If i were you ,i would follow The Honerable Mr Bill Gates,Of Microscoft...Or Warren Buffet...and let someone else handle your empire,or better still,sell off and start spending more time with your family..Buy a good,luxery,Boat,and use it...Not leave a heafty 7 Billion in the bank and die(Computer Guy)**Why Die The Richest Man in the grave??? If i were you,i would devote more time to Charity Causes..Improve Living Conditions of the poor!!!and the Elderly..You have the resourses ..Do It Now..Afore We Go!!!   AL SAYEE
Jan 23, 2013 8:04PM
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I hope Trump gets it.  Then there will be a voice of reason in the land and not some rag licking Odumbo's boots and trying to bring communism to the US.
Jan 23, 2013 8:04PM
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Guarantee if Bloomberg wanted to buy it they would sell to that Liberal RINO in a nanosecond! Then it would be ok if HE wanted to use it for his political message because it's the same message the paper pushes now. Liberals only like talking points and pundits, messages, lobbyists and PAC's when it's their own!
Jan 23, 2013 8:03PM
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Please do not allow this dept ridden purchase.

 

The news would be tweeked toward his persuasion such as NBC's is and the price would skyrocket and then once he made his he'd sell it-----caring nothing for the paper, its history or professionalism!

Jan 23, 2013 8:02PM
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He should buy it then turn it into a homeless shelter.  
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