Pinch faces his shareholders

Ira Stoll describes the hell Pinch Sulzberger faced this morning at the New York Times Company annual shareholders meeting in Commentary's Contentions blog. Just some of the questions Stoll recounts:

One shareholder pressed the company's chairman, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., about Roger Cohen's opinion columns presenting a rosy view of Iran and portraying Israel as a menace. When the shareholder asked why the Cohen columns hadn't been balanced by those offering an alternative point of view, Sulzberger replied that he would raise the issue with the editorial page editor. Another shareholder offered some suggestions on how the newspaper could cut costs, noting that the restaurant critic did not need to fly to Texas to review a "pork restaurant" that most of the paper's readers would never eat at, and that the fashion critic could have interviewed Oscar de la Renta here in New York rather than flying to de la Renta's vacation home in the Dominican Republic.

When questioned about the company's corporate jet, Pinch invited the questioner to make a bid, meaning, of course, that unloading it is proving difficult. With lots of companies cutting back and idling jets, they have to be hard to sell without a big write off.

If Pinch had sensibly cut back on extravagant expenses like the jet earlier, the company could have gotten a much better price for it.

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe’s Newspaper Guild union posts a sad petition expressing support for the Globe’s survival, as if the New York Times Company can continue to pour cash into a losing operation to the north when the Mothership is sinking.


  • We support the Globe's staff and workers - who have been asked by the New York Times Company to make sacrifices which will threaten their well-being.
  • We call on the Times Company and Globe management to make genuine sacrifices themselves and share fully in the burden they have placed on Globe workers.
  • And we resolve that The Boston Globe - whose mission of journalism and the defense of free speech is critical to our democracy - must continue to publish in service of that mission as it has for 137 years.

The Union assumes that companies can magically manage to survive when losing money, if only everyone shares their vision. It is magical thinking from journalists.


Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Ira Stoll describes the hell Pinch Sulzberger faced this morning at the New York Times Company annual shareholders meeting in Commentary's Contentions blog. Just some of the questions Stoll recounts:

One shareholder pressed the company's chairman, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., about Roger Cohen's opinion columns presenting a rosy view of Iran and portraying Israel as a menace. When the shareholder asked why the Cohen columns hadn't been balanced by those offering an alternative point of view, Sulzberger replied that he would raise the issue with the editorial page editor. Another shareholder offered some suggestions on how the newspaper could cut costs, noting that the restaurant critic did not need to fly to Texas to review a "pork restaurant" that most of the paper's readers would never eat at, and that the fashion critic could have interviewed Oscar de la Renta here in New York rather than flying to de la Renta's vacation home in the Dominican Republic.

When questioned about the company's corporate jet, Pinch invited the questioner to make a bid, meaning, of course, that unloading it is proving difficult. With lots of companies cutting back and idling jets, they have to be hard to sell without a big write off.

If Pinch had sensibly cut back on extravagant expenses like the jet earlier, the company could have gotten a much better price for it.

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe’s Newspaper Guild union posts a sad petition expressing support for the Globe’s survival, as if the New York Times Company can continue to pour cash into a losing operation to the north when the Mothership is sinking.


  • We support the Globe's staff and workers - who have been asked by the New York Times Company to make sacrifices which will threaten their well-being.
  • We call on the Times Company and Globe management to make genuine sacrifices themselves and share fully in the burden they have placed on Globe workers.
  • And we resolve that The Boston Globe - whose mission of journalism and the defense of free speech is critical to our democracy - must continue to publish in service of that mission as it has for 137 years.

The Union assumes that companies can magically manage to survive when losing money, if only everyone shares their vision. It is magical thinking from journalists.


Hat tip: Ed Lasky