Stephen Spruiell at NRO's Media Blog notices the New York Post's report of the rise in short—sellers of the stock of the New York Times Company. He notes:
"Pinch" Sulzberger can't do anything to quell stockholder unrest: He's the problem! He's presided over one newsroom catastrophe after another. The editorial board has abandoned cogent debate for screeching partisanship. His solution for additional revenue? Charge people to read Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman. Yet large shareholders like Morgan Stanley can do nothing, because Sulzberger is protected by a dual stock structure that gives the Sulzberger family control of the board. Is it any wonder that Morgan Stanley is pushing to change this system and make the NYT more accountable to its investors?
Keith Kelley of the Post reports
The short position on Times stock would now take 14.3 days of average trades to cover, according to shortsqueeze.com, which tracks short selling.
That's more than double the number of days needed to cover the short positions held by speculators in five other publicly traded newspaper companies.
Tribune Company, which has acknowledged it could be ripe for a takeover, is at 2.6 days; Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal, is at 5.6 days; Gannett, owner of USA Today, is at 3.4 days; the Washington Post Company is at 5.2 days; McClatchy is at 4.6 days.
"It says one thing loud and clear, if you take all the big guys in the newspaper industry, the New York Times is the company that investors are betting most against," said Douglas McIntyre, a former board member of The Street.com and currently managing director of World of Tech Online.
It should now be rather clear to members of the Sulzberger family, who control the company's board of directors, that Pinch is a wealth—dstroying mechanism.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Thomas Lifson 5 06 06