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November 20, 2008
NYT cuts its dividend 74%
Members of the Sulzberger family have even more reason to regret letting Cousin Pinch run their patrimony into the ground. Just last year he raised their dividend almost a third, in the face of outsiders criticizing his talent. That kept him in charge for the moment. Now, the money he squandered is needed for "liquidity" and the grandees are going to have to get along on less.
Marketwatch reports that the New York Times today cut its dividend 74%, from 23 cents per share to 6 cents per share in the third quarter. That's gotta hurt those family members. You might say their lifestyles could become a little pinched. And the shares closed down almost 10% on today's opening, well into the fives, at $5.72.
Ben Smith of Politico reported early this year that the New York Times has a corporate jet, used to whisk its reporters out of awkward states during the early primary season, travelling "Sulzberger style." Considering that the Editorial Board yesterday lectured Big Three execs about the inappropriateness of taking private jets to DC, I presume the company has already sold its status symbol and perk. Otherwise they would look pretty silly, keeping such an expensive toy.
See my earlier post today: Sulzberger seismology - is the family easing out Pinch at the NYT?